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Nov 14, 19

Campaign Targeting Devereux’s Youth Detention Centers Escalates as Protestors Plan to March

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Call for mass march on November 16th in Philadelphia against an immigrant youth detention center.

Philadelphia – On Saturday night, Jews, immigrants, and allies will march through downtown Philadelphia to protest the creation of privately-held immigrant youth detention centers by Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health. Devereux recently received a $14 million contract from the federal government to detain migrant children in facilities across the country, including in Devon, PA.

This action is the latest escalation from the national Jewish movement Never Again working in collaboration with local immigrant justice organization Juntos to demand that Devereux stop detaining migrant children. On October 17th, several dozen protestors from this campaign blocked the main exit to Devereux National Headquarters.

We demand that Devereux cancel its plans to hold 42 migrant children in a detention center in Devon, PA. We further demand an end to corporations profiting off of immigrant detention, the complete defunding of ICE and CBP as overall agencies, and permanent protection for all undocumented immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

Devereux claims to be apolitical while it is catering to the political ends of the U.S. government. This was made clear when Devereux’s Leah Yaw told the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), “Should ORR needs dictate, Devereux is ready to grow capacity well beyond the 182 beds [initially opened] during this project’s three-year award cycle.” Devereux cannot remain apolitical when it makes covert promises to the Trump government that it will supply more and more child detention centers should the white nationalists in charge of our immigration policy deem it necessary.

There is no reason that unaccompanied children should be detained. In applying for asylum, they have committed no crime, and for decades, the US did not incarcerate them. Yet in 2019, nearly 70,000 migrant children have been detained so far, including infants and toddlers. While Devereux claims to be offering vital services to traumatized children with “specialized needs,” they are merely perpetuating trauma through a system of violence that has taken these children from their families and holds them indefinitely.

While the guests at Devereux’s 20th-anniversary gala enjoy appetizers and wine, the money they donate enriches an organization that seeks not only to prop up, but expand the current detention-and-deportation regime.  As Jews, we know that people are isolated in secure facilities so the rest of the population can look the other way. Never Again stands with Juntos against private detention and the entire immigration deportation machine. We know that when a government targets one group of people, it is only a matter of time before everyone’s freedom is under attack.

Join us, 6 PM, Saturday 11/16/19, N 8th and Cherry St Philadelphia, PA.

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