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Countdown to immigration reform; Take Action Now!

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If we want to end arbitrary detention and improve conditions of immigration detention as part of the comprehensive immigration reform expected in 2010, then we have to start building support in Congress now. Tell your Senator to co-sponsor two new bills in Congress aimed at protecting the human rights of immigrants and U.S. citizens locked up in jails across the U.S.

Throughout the summer, Amnesty researchers have continued to collect new evidence that exposes the shameful immigration system in America. We've seen U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers, undocumented immigrants, and even survivors of human trafficking and torture paying the price for a broken system.

Ask your Senator to co-sponsor legislation that aims to protect the hundreds of thousands of people locked up while fighting for legal recognition in the U.S. every year.

We have documented cases of people who have not been allowed outside for over a year. We learned about a woman who, although she posed no flight risk or danger to anyone, gave birth while being chained to a hospital bed. The nightmare only begins there – indefinite detention, physical abuse, lack of access to adequate medical care, and even suicide in cases where detainees felt trapped in limbo – sometimes waiting years to receive their first custody hearing.1

Help fix broken U.S. immigration policies
Stories like these tarnish the American dream. Laws that permit this to happen, with almost no oversight or accountability, endanger our civil liberties and human rights.

Ask your Senator to end arbitrary detention and help fix conditions in immigrant detention by co-sponsoring the Protect U.S. Citizens and Residents from Unlawful Detention Act and the Strong STANDARDS Act.

Just last week, President Obama signaled that he would finally be ready to tackle the immigration system in 2010.2 This news comes on the heels of two new bills recently introduced in the Senate that could dramatically improve the plight of detained US citizens, immigrants and asylum seekers.

These bills would provide due process protection to U.S. citizens and others detained erroneously, and set minimum and humane standards of care for every detained person in the U.S.

For many, 2010 seems a long way off. But we know that if we're going to play an active role in shaping immigration reform policies that respect basic rights and liberties of all people, then we're going to have to start now.

It is up to us to demand that the human rights of hundreds of thousands of people caught in the nightmarish system of immigration detention be protected.

Email your Senator to help fix the broken system of immigrant detention.

Sincerely,

Sarnata Reynolds
Policy Director, Refugee & Migrant Rights
Amnesty International USA