As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement moves ahead with its plans to build a new 500-bed privately-owned detention center in the region, Wyomingites who don’t want to see an immigration prison in the state are taking action.
On Sunday, the ACLU of Wyoming will join the #WyoSayNo campaign for Fiesta de Familias: One Year Later, an event designed to celebrate families and the importance of keeping them together and to share information about how to fight back against the proposed immigration prison.
“Over the last year, we have seen a dramatic increase in family separations, detentions and a growing array of human rights violations perpetrated by ICE across the country and in Wyoming,” said Antonio Serrano, ACLU of Wyoming organizer. “Over the last year, hundreds of people joined us at Fiesta de Familias events throughout Wyoming, and with these recent developments, it is crucial to our community’s future that we show up once again. We have an opportunity here to be part of the movement to saying no to family separations and the inhumane private immigration detention system.”
Management & Training Corporation (MTC), the third-largest private prison corporation in the United States, has expressed interest in building the immigration prison outside Evanston. An immigration prison would bring ICE closer to Wyoming’s Latino communities and will expand the ability to detain immigrants and break apart families in Wyoming.
“After the events of the last several years, including human rights abuse, deaths of children and inadequate medical care, these detention facilities have been referred to as ‘concentration camps’ by some and simply ‘prisons’ by others,” Evanston residents Tim and Katie Beppler wrote in the Uinta County Herald. “Regardless of the terminology used, our community needs to resist the temptation to accept one of these facilities under the guise of economic development. … We simply cannot continue to lock people up as a way of addressing social and economic issues — we need to renew and cultivate respect for all lives.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Fiesta de Familias: One Year Later
WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18
WHERE: Hamblin Park, Evanston, WY
FOR INFORMATION: Go to www.aclu-wy.org
About the ACLU of Wyoming
The American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Wyoming is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and South Dakota. The team in Wyoming is supported by staff in those states.
The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBT communities. The ACLU of Wyoming carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of Wyoming.