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To: Craig S. Meyer; Assistant Field Office Director of Detention and Removal Operations, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) San Francisco Field Office
End ICE’s Unjust Indefinite Detention of Kwesi Amuzu!
As the head of Northern CA's ICE Detention and Removal Operations, I urge you to release Kwesi Amuzu, a Ghanaian asylum-seeker, who is wrongfully held in detention beyond the 6 month period allowed by U.S law in cases where a final order of removal cannot be carried out.
Why is this important?
It has been more than a year and Kwesi Amuzu is still unjustly locked up! Kwesi was detained by immigration authorities at the U.S./Mexico border in August 2013. He spent six months in immigration detention while his asylum case was adjudicated. Although he was denied asylum in March 2014 and received a final order of removal, it cannot be carried out because there is no documentation of his birth in Ghana. In effect, Kwesi remains imprisoned because he is stateless. Most recently, he was transferred from West County Detention Facility in Richmond, CA to a for profit prison in Bakersfield, CA that is run by one of the world's most abusive private prison companies. In effect, Kwesi remains imprisoned for profit because he is stateless.
ICE’s ongoing imprisonment of Kwesi is deeply inhumane and unjust. If enough people take action, we can pressure ICE to do what is right and release Kwesi immediately. Will you join us?
Instead of releasing Kwesi to his support network in the Bay Area who has been following his case and advocating for his release, ICE has chosen to hold him indefinitely with no end in sight. Kwesi’s case highlights a disturbing and systemic problem; low income immigrant and Black people are being incarcerated in wildly inhumane prisons to meet the 34,000 detention bed quota. This disturbing and discriminatory practice sends a chilling effect to communities of color in the U.S. who are disproportionately impacted by mass criminalization. (1)
Every year, over 400,000 people disappear and are bought and sold into the U.S. immigration detention system. Private Prison corporations lobby Congress to ensure themselves a steady stream of profit, at taxpayer expense. The immigration detention bed quota requires that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detain 34,000 people every day. No other law enforcement agency operates under a quota that is mandated by Congress.
Kwesi’s case reminds us that Black Lives Matter in the Migrant Rights Movement. Black Immigrant populations have been made invisible while being targeted and terrorized by ICE, police, and other law enforcement agencies at significantly high rates given their population size within the larger Immigrant community in the U.S. Black Immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America are overrepresented in immigration detention and deportation proceedings at a rate 5 times their actual presence in the undocumented community. (2) African Americans are also impacted by ICE terror and violence which was made evident in the recent killing of Terrence Kellor who was murdered in his home by an ICE agent part of an inter-agency enforcement team in Detroit. (3)
We are not for sale! Our bodies should not be used to boost the profits of the prison industry and meet an unjust bed quota! Fighting for Kwesi’s release is about centering the struggle of Black Immigrants in the Migrant Rights Movement in order to strengthen the fight against the criminal-immigration system and special interests, both public and private, who profit and sustain power by criminalizing our communities.
1. The Drug War, Mass Incarceration and Race: http://www.drugpolicy.org/resource/drug-war-mass-incarceration-and-race
2. BAJI, The Real Crime: http://www.blackalliance.org/therealcrime/
3. Terrence Kellor killed in his own home by ICE agent: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/29/terrance-kellom-shot-dead-in-detroit-by-ice-agent.html?utm_content=main&utm_campaign=ajam&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=SocialFlow
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