Kearny, NJ/New York, NY — February 27, 2018
First Friends of NJ/NY DECRIES Supreme Court Decision
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday February 27 that those held in immigration detention are not entitled to periodic hearings regarding their release on bail.
“This is a travesty and goes against founding principles. While it is not the end as the Supreme Court has remanded the matter back to the 9th circuit, countless lives will be gravely impacted in the interim. It should be noted that this applies to arriving aliens and LPRs; meaning people who have sought safety and protection in the U.S and did not cross the border illegally. Rather than afford them safety and protection under guiding international principals, the U.S. will continue their harm and deprivation of liberty indefinitely. ” says Anilu Chadwick, board chair of First Friends of NJ/NY.
First Friends provides volunteer visitors among other supportive services to those detained and held in ICE custody in New Jersey.
“I was denied parole in detention for obvious reasons by ICE just to continue keeping me in detention center without a fighting chance. First Friends was there for me and I could not be more grateful to my volunteer visitor for her commitment to keep me in peace of mind during turbulent times” Says Edafe Okporo, who was formerly detained at the Elizabeth Detention Center and is now a Board Member of First Friends of NJ/NY.
Those held in immigration detention do not have a right to representation and often face immigration judges without legal counsel and with the disadvantage of being unfamiliar with US immigration law as well as language differences. Emeli Attipoe, currently detained in Hudson County Jail for thirty months called First Friends immediately upon hearing the news on TV. “The previous decision granting us bond provided hope for many of us, now with this decision, that hope is vanquished.” Said Emeli.
Sally Pillay, Program Director of First Friends said “This decision negatively impacts the lives of thousands of people that are detained, causing needless suffering, by placing these individuals in prolonged indefinite detention in subpar conditions.”