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The Forum: Mandatory Detention: The Mass Incarceration of Immigrants

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Published on Feb 11, 2013

Approximately 400,000 people are detained in prisons, jails, and private detention facilities across the country pending deportation proceedings. For many of these immigrants, the federal government asserts that their detention is mandated--even for years--without the right to an individualized bond hearing. As the Obama Administration and Congress contemplate comprehensive immigration reform, elected officials have paid little attention to the expansive and costly mass incarceration of immigrants as part of the country's current enforcement-first approach. In this Forum, we heard from the leading litigators and community activists who are taking the mandatory detention system head-on, both nationwide and just across the river in New Jersey, where hundreds of immigrant New Yorkers are held each year.

Panelists:
Judy Rabinovitz '85, Deputy Director and Director of Detention and Federal Enforcement Programs, American Civil Liberties Union
Ravi Ragbir, Organizer, New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City
Silky Shah, Communications Director, Detention Watch Network

Moderator:
Alina Das '05, Assistant Professor of Clinical Law, New York University School of Law

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