Freedom for Immigrants today filed a lawsuit in federal court against US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over retaliatory attacks on its hotline. The hotline, however, is far from the only FFI resource provided to immigrants in detention that is currently suspended by ICE. The lawsuit details a pattern of retaliation, specifically calling out the current suspension of the Etowah Visitation Project at the Etowah County Detention Center in Alabama. Following a protest led by local groups outside the Etowah Detention Center in November, ICE and the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office suspended the facility’s visitation program. Freedom for Immigrants sent ICE and the Sheriff’s Department a cease and desist letter earlier this month, requesting a response by December 12th. We have yet to receive a response.
Below is a letter to the public signed by over 100 men detained at Etowah detailing the poor conditions they face in detention and how the support that the visitation project offered is badly needed now.