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Jul 19, 18

Tampa Occupation Begins As Local Activists Camp At DHS Building

Report from Tampa, Florida as another #OccupyICE encampment is started.

Tampa, FL: A coalition of movements supporting freedom of movement, safe passage, the abolition of ICE and allies to undocumented communities have established a camp at the ICE DHS offices on 5524 W Cypress St, Tampa, FL 33607 in Tampa.

Members of Love Has No Borders, Restorative Justice Coalition, Tampa Food Not Bombs, Sex Worker Solidarity Network and Tampa Bay DSA have established a preliminary list of demands as relates to local politics around the Immigration issue.

Florida experienced the country’s biggest increase in Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests in 2017, according to a Pew Research Center report. Abuses of detainees has been as prolific as it has been un-investigated. Love Has No Borders organizer Dezeray Lyn states:

“With sexual violence, detainee abuses and deportations to war torn countries as well as to detainees’ homelands where other life-threatening sociopolitical realities exist, in solidarity with the greater national movement to abolish ICE we have engaged Tampa as a city who stands with Immigrants and the Undocumented locally, nationally and worldwide. Tampa welcomes all people.”

Our demands are as follows:

  • Tampa Police Departments dissolve January 2018 agreement, joint announced by Several Tampa Bay area sheriffs, including Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Polk Sheriff Grady Judd along with ICE officials and the executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association, whereas the new agreement allows ICE to contract with local law enforcement to house Undocumented persons arrested until federal officials can pick them up. ICE will then reimburse the agencies for those detentions.
  • Thorough, immediate and transparent investigations begin (with investigative body being a community-elected civilian review board) into prolific reports by detainees of criminal abuses, including sexual violence at all Immigration detention centers in Florida.
  • Deportation to war-torn countries and to areas of political disasters, disease and famine (such as in the recent case of 92 detained Somalis from Glades County Detention Center) cease immediately and permanently.
  • We demand that DHS ensure that all DHS facilities, including all ICE detention facilities and CBP holding facilities, have not only contractually adopted but also implemented the DHS National Prison Rape Elimination Commission standards, and to proactively and quarterly publish information on all reported complaints of sexual abuse in DHS facilities.

References on abuses of Immigrant detainees in Florida Immigration Detention Centers:

92 Detained Somalis Say ICE Guards Abusing Them (Glades County)

Krome Detention Center Has Long History of Detainee Abuse

Detained Then Violated (internal article reference to sexual abuse at Krome)

Sexual Abuse Reported at an Immigration Center (Krome)

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