Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

The Community Church of New York
28 E. 35th Street
New York, NY 10016

June 14, 2013

The Jerusalem Fund
2425 Virginia Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20037

March 23, 2013

San Jose Peace and Justice Center
(between Santa Clara and San Fernando)
48 South 7th Street
San Jose, CA

2012 has been a breakthrough year for Enemy Alien as well as for Life or Liberty's next project, the Tule Lake Documentary.

Immigration Authorities End Torture-by-Dogs of Detainees in U.S. Jails

NJ Civil Rights Defense Committee Press Release

For Release Dec. 6, 2004


Eric Lerner


Press conference to be held

Monday, Dec. 6

1:00 PM

Rutger?s Newark Campus

Newark, NJ

Hill Hall (Room 208)

To get to Room 208, please go up the ramp from the second floor of Hill Hall.

Hill Hall is at the corner of MLK Jr. Blvd. and Warren St., next to the Student


Representatives of immigrants rights and civil rights groups, including NJ Civil Rights Defense Committee, Casa Freehold, Council on American Islamic Relations-NJ, and others will describe how this victory was achieved and the broader context of the struggle for immigrant rights.

The representatives of the groups and detainee family members will explain what has been won so far and the much greater tasks that still must be accomplished to defend the civil rights of all who live in this country.

The immigrant rights? movement won a significant victory when the Dept. Of Homeland

Security?s Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm directed that all jails in the US

holding immigrant detainees cease to use dogs around the detainees.

The directive,

effective Dec. 11, was a response to a report on National Public Radio documenting

the use of the dogs to terrify and physically attack detainees. Officials at Passaic

County Jail, one of several facilities that used the dogs, stated that they had

already removed the dogs from the jail, an action confirmed by detainees.

The NPR report was the result of an 18-month-long campaign by immigrant rights and

civil rights groups to expose the use of dogs to torture immigrant detainees.

The canine abuse was first reported to the press by NJ Civil Rights Defense

Committee (NJCRDC) in a press conference July 18, 2003. The conference was held in

connection with a hunger strike by Nigel Macado and Hemnauth Mohabir, one of the

detainees interviewed in the NPR report last week. Since then, NJCRDC, Families for

Freedom and other immigrant rights organizations have been vigorously exposing dog

attacks. The groups arranged detainee interviews for the NPR story.

This effort has

been part of a general campaign to win the release of all the detainees, who are

being held unconstitutionally without any criminal charges

?This victory is a step forward,? said NJCRDC member Jeannette Gabriel, ?but it puts

an end to only one type of detainee abuse. The worst abuse is to hold them at all,

as they are not charged with any crimes.? Detainees are held by the Department of

Homeland Security as ?civil? detentions under laws passed in 1996 and vigorously

enforced since September, 2001.

The end of the torture-by-dog is one of the limited but important victories which

the growing immigrant rights movement has won in the past year. In Freehold, New

Jersey, a coalition of immigrants and citizens united in Casa Freehold and other

organizations defeated an attempt by the Township government to shut down a muster

zone for immigrant day-laborers. With the support of this coalition, the

day?laborers were able to organize a hiring-hall-type of system, ending competition

among the laborers and enforcing minimum labor standards on contractors. When

police harassment drove the contractors away, NJCRDC and Casa Freehold, joined by

other immigrant rights and peace groups, organized a march in Freehold in July which

succeeded in countering the harassment.

This new civil rights fight is just beginning. Thousands of detainees remain

unconstitutionally incarcerated and immigrant communities are under attack. The

detainee featured in NPR?s report for being deliberately subjected to a dog bite,

Rosendo Lewis, and another detainee, Abdoulie Secka, have just finished a nine-day

hunger strike at Passaic County jail to demand their freedom. They report being subjected to threats by ICE officials to move them to other detention facilities

thousands of miles from their families. The dogs are gone, but the violations of

human rights remain and only continued exposure and protest will stop them.