This week community members gathered outside the Miramar ICE Facility in Miami, FL, to demand that ICE restore visitation rights for Bud Conlin and Tomas Kennedy, two men who regularly visit immigrants that are imprisoned in Krome Detention Center in Miami,.
Conlin and Kennedy were indefinitely banned by ICE from entering their detention camps due to their participation in a non-violent act of civil disobedience at the Miramar ICE check-in facility earlier this year, infringing Conlin and Kennedy’s First Amendment rights.
Friends of Miami-Dade Detainees, Freedom for Immigrants, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, United We Dream, and Florida Immigrant Coalition have all signed onto a letter that was delivered to ICE, formally demanding ICE restore Conlin and Kennedy’s right to visitation.
The Miramar ICE facility is the place where immigrant families with pending immigration cases go to meet face-to-face with a deportation agent who sets conditions and restrictions for how an immigrant family must live while their case is ongoing. At any moment during a check-in, the deportation agent can decide that the family will be deported. They can lose everything in an instant, and only a few can appeal the agent’s decision — but only after being placed behind bars at a detention camp.
Ever since Trump’s administration began, ICE has changed its check-ins from once every year to once every 3 months, and in some cases, once every 15 days. They put families through a cycle of intimidation and control.
Since this president’s inauguration, community leaders have organized a weekly Circle of Protection, wherein they are stationed outside of the Miramar ICE Facility to provide Know Your Rights training, access to United We Dream’s deportation defense hotline, food, and emotional support for families.
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