For Immediate Release
March 28th, 2022
Immigrant Action Alliance Celebrates Pause on Detaining Immigrants at Glades County Detention Center, Vows to Fight for Full and Permanent Closure
Activists with Immigrant Action Alliance are celebrating Friday’s news that federal immigration authorities will stop detaining immigrants at the Glades County Detention Center due to “ongoing and persistent” complaints of inadequate medical care for detained people. ICE also announced on Friday that they would not extend their guaranteed minimum beds provision, and any future use of the detention center would be contingent upon the facility meeting minimum detention standards.
For the past year and a half, Rebecca Talbot of Immigrant Action Alliance has led a powerful coalition of directly impacted individuals, community and nationwide partner organizations in an effort to shut down Glades once and for all. Our powerful Shut Down Glades Coalition includes Freedom For Immigrants, Detention Watch Network, Americans for Immigrant Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Southern Poverty Law Center, American Friends Service Committee Florida, Doctors for Camp Closure, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Detention Kills, Black Lives Matter Palm Beach County, Community Hotline for Incarcerated People, United We Dream, Food Not Bombs Lake Worth, The Grey Tea Kettle Chaplaincy Community Care & Support, The Farm Worker Association of Florida, University of Miami School of Law Immigration Clinic, Human Rights Defense Center and QLatinx.
“These steps in the right direction come as a relief for all those who have been fighting long and hard to have this abysmal detention center shut down. But the job is not finished. The Biden administration must end the human rights abuses at Glades by committing to closing the facility fully and forever. It must also release those who have been transferred from Glades to other facilities, because of the immeasurable harm they have suffered at Glades.”
Our coalition fought for the closure of Glades on all fronts by constantly communicating with people detained inside Glades and elevating issues of abuse and neglect in the public eye. Over the past two years we fought to shut down Glades by organizing demonstrations outside of the detention center, in front of the Miami ICE Field Office, by attending Glades county commission meetings to speak out about poor conditions, by working alongside Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and other legislators, and by filing dozens of Civil Rights Complaints on behalf of individuals enduring abuse.
Erickson Martinez, who spent three years detained at Glades and has since been deported, was essential in the fight to shut down the facility plagued with human rights abuses. As part of the Shut Down Glades Coalition, Erickson texted with dozens of people imprisoned at Glades on a regular basis, offering support and invaluable information to the coalition based on his first-hand experiences facing abuse there.
“The prayer from men, women, families and children has been heard: Glades has closed its doors for immigration detainees. But until they bring those walls down, injustice and cover-ups by ICE and the Glades County Sheriff’s Office will continue. Glades is just one of many places they hold immigration detainees like prisoners, and abuse authority against resident detainees that have lived in America for 2-3 decades. I am glad Glades is closed, and I hope those doors never open again.”
As we celebrate Friday’s news, our Shut Down Glades Coalition remains vigilant and continues the fight to ensure Glades is closed – fully and forever.