The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Hairo Cortes, 657.272.3475

Press Conference: Santa Ana Residents Say No to Detaining More Trans & Other Immigrants at City Jail City Should Be Cutting Ties with ICE Not Offering It More Room

What: Press Conference Before City Council Vote on Proposal to Expand Detention

Where: Outside Santa Ana City Council Chamber | 20 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana,     CA 92701

When: February 2, 2016 | 9:00 AM

Who: Orange County Immigrant Youth United, RAIZ, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement

A proposal by some within Santa Ana government to expand the number of immigrants it would detain for federal authorities in its jail to up to 300 people is causing a sharp response from local residents. The question comes at a time when the jail is under increasing fire for recent abuses and pressure to release the transgender detainees it houses there.

On Tuesday morning, Orange County Immigrant Youth United (OCIYU), RAIZ, and Familia: TQLM will hold a press conference to call on the all Latino and Democrat city council to vote against the contract expansion plan and instead to cut the city’s ties with ICE.

“With Donald Trump leading the country in one direction, now is when our city council’s leadership on human and immigrant rights is needed most,” explains Hairo Cortes, Program Director for OCIYU. “As ICE causes panic with its raids and trauma with its abuses inside detention, Santa Ana should be ending any collaboration with the agency not expanding it. ICE doesn’t contract for more beds without a plan to fill them and Santa Ana should have nothing to do with that.”

Pointing to language in the proposal about a ‘sound fiscal model’ for jail management and ‘assisting meeting revenue projections’, groups are bristling at a budget approach that seeks revenue from detaining immigrants. The contract expansion that would give the city $105 per detention bed per day is raising questions if those proposing it are more interested in funding the jail off of those who would be detained than it is in the well-being of its constituents who could be targeted by immigration enforcement activity.

The Santa Ana jail has been a focal point of protest in Santa Ana as detainees complain of abuse. Marketed by ICE as a model specifically for detaining transgender immigrants, those who have been released from inside tell a different story of humiliation, isolation, and mistreatment.

“I am against the ICE bed expansion because I was detained at the Santa Ana city jail. While in detention, I experienced abuse and discrimination by ICE officials” Jessika Letona

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