Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) is the national detention visitation network, which is working to end U.S. immigration detention by monitoring human rights abuses, elevating stories, building community-based alternatives to detention, and advocating for system change.

Our visitation programs are mapped with the purple icons,

### **Who Are We?**

We are 1,400+ volunteers at 43 visitation programs across 19 states, making 1,500 visits a month to end the isolation of people in detention.

Why Do We Visit?

“My visitor was the first contact I had to the outside in four months. Nobody knew I was inside detention. I gave my visitor the names of my family so she could let them know I was in the U.S. in detention. She found my family, and then her and the visitation program helped me to get out of detention.”

-Marcela Castro, detained at the James Musick Facility, CA

“I visit to witness to the inherent unfairness of warehousing human beings because of the circumstances of birth. I believe in the promise of an America made better, stronger, more beautiful by its immigrant heritage, and I believe in the importance of acting on that belief as a nation and as an individual. I visit because I can do this much to let these folks know someone knows and cares that they are there and is willing and able to spread the word.”

-Bud Conlin, Krome Service Processing Center, FL

“Because it makes an intolerable situation just a little bit better for the person being detained. They know that somebody ‘out here’ knows that they are ‘in there.’”

-Jan Thompson, El Paso Processing Center and West Texas Detention Center, TX

“For me, immigration controls, deportation and detention are society’s way of subordinating “the other” — people of color, low-income individuals, migrants, etc. Following in the legacy of slavery and colonialism, immigration systems maintain power structures that oppress many and take away from our shared humanity. I know that I’m only one person, but I want my thoughts and actions to come from a place of compassion and contribute to the undoing of these systems.”

-Visitor at Plymouth, Bristol, and Suffolk County Jails, MA

“I visit so that they know that there is someone that cares and who not only disagrees with but believes our country’s immigration policies are inhumane.”

-Liza Diniakos, Adelanto Detention Facility, CA

“I began visiting with great uncertainty that I would be able to do it or that I would enjoy the experience. Now, I feel an obligation to the men at Etowah and to CIVIC to continue. I know it is important because of the feedback all of our visitors get from the men. Nonetheless it is difficult to overcome the feeling of helplessness in the face of the difficulties the men endure.”

-Katherine Weathers, Etowah Detention Facility, AL

“I visit because it is something I can do to make this horrible situation better for at least one person during the time of that visit. It is more powerful than being helpless in the face of legitimized cruelty.”

-Elaine LeCain, Mesa Verde Detention Facility, CA

“To let detainees know that someone outside knows they exist and cares about them.”

-Christine Ho, Broward Transitional Center, FL

“Because it is such a need and means so much to them. It’s like a lifeline for some.”

-Kathleen Erickson, Douglas County Jail, NE

“I visit people in detention because I want them to know that there are people who care about what they are going through and that people are working to end this unjust system.”

-Visitor at Adelanto Detention Facility, CA

“To let the women know they are not forgotten or alone.”

-Pat Uribe-Lichty, Berks County Family Detention Center, PA

“Because persons in immigration detention are victims and survivors of our broken immigration system and we need to hear their stories and share ourselves with them.”

-Tina Schlabach, Eloy Detention Center, AZ

“We visit to lessen the isolation and fear inherent in facing possible deportation from a jail or prison, and to spread awareness in our community about the scope and negative consequences of immigration detention.”

-Visitor at Worcester County Jail and Howard County Detention Center, MD

“I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose my freedom over my own life on any account, but particularly if I had come to this country seeking asylum, refuge from a dangerous situation. I want the people I visit to know that they are not forgotten.”

-Merilie Robertson, Adelanto Detention Facility, CA

“Very vulnerable people are so isolated in an unjust way. It’s something easy for me to do.”

-Jan Meslin, James Musick Facility, Santa Ana City Jail, and Theo Lacy Facility, CA

“I want the detained immigrants to know that someone on the outside is aware of their situation and cares about what is happening to them.”

-Visitor at Strafford County Department of Corrections, NH

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