In 2016, the privately-owned Cibola County prison closed after an investigation revealed patterns of inadequate medical treatment and neglect. Just a few months ago, the facility reopened as an immigration detention center–run by the same private corrections company.
The Cibola County Detention Center is already holding over 700 adult men, many of whom are fleeing violence in Central America. These detainees face many barriers as they attempt to access justice in a legal system that is stacked against them. Only 14% of immigrants held in detention centers are represented, but detainees with lawyers are almost 7 times more likely to be released from detention. The rural location of the Cibola County detention facility, language barriers, lack of knowledge of their rights, and the at times impossible tasks of affording an attorney reduce justice to an elusive fantasy for detainees.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The New Mexico Immigrant Law Center is teaming up with the Santa Fe Dreamer’s Project to offer weekly legal orientations and consultations to immigrants detained in the Cibola County detention center. The project’s goal is to support the detainees so that they can be self-advocates throughout their case. Many of the detainees have proved that they had a credible fear of returning to their home countries,but, without access to attorneys and legal information, face an uphill battle in getting out of detention or pleading their case.
We are fighting for a just legal system for all immigrants–regardless of their location or ability to afford an attorney. Your support will provide justice and opportunity where the system provides none.
How we’ll put your donations to work
We are raising money to fund 6 months of legal orientations at the Cibola County Detention Facility.
The expenses for each trip are:
- Staff Time: $150
- Transportation Costs: $30
- Supplies: $20
For a total of $200 per trip.
Over a period of six months, averaging six trips to the center per month, this comes out to $7,200.
Interested in getting involved?
We are looking for Spanish-speaking volunteers with some experience providing legal trainings or willingness to learn to sign up for regular trips to the detention center. If you are interested, please email our volunteer coordinator, Steffi, at email@example.com.
If you would like to learn more about our work, please visit our website or Facebook page.
And of course, please help us spread the word about this project by sharing this campaign on social media!