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What is the eloy
Run by private prison corporation, CoreCivic, Eloy Detention Center is located in Eloy, AZ, a small “prison town” located between Tucson and Phoenix. To be clear, the “detention center” is, in fact, a prison – an inhumane prison filled with migrants.
We like to think of [people who are currently detained]– Eloy City Manager Harvey Krauss
as in a gated community with lots of amenities.
In August 2018, Advancement Project National Office conducted a stakeholder visit of Eloy Detention Center on behalf of and in partnership with Puente Human Rights Movement. The findings on this website are a result of this visit, an attempt at transparency and to hold those who run and manage Eloy Detention Center accountable.
Language has historically been used to oppress and devalue communities of color, and to erase identity and history. Language becomes more powerful when it is understood by a wider community. We have made the decision to define some words and phrases as we feel they best represent our community and political beliefs.
Throughout this website we will use the term “Latinx,” but acknowledge that the term is not inclusive of Indigenous and African heritage people of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean who were invaded and colonized by Spain and Portugal.
As defined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), “migrants choose to move not because of a direct thread of persecution or death, but mainly to improve their lives by finding work, or in some cases for education, family reunification, or other reasons.” We chose to use “migrant” instead of “immigrant” in order to incorporate human rights for migrants, but push back against the UNHCR definition that states that migrants can safely return home.
The term "poli" refers to police, and "migra" is the colloquial Spanish word for immigration enforcement. Often, "migra" specifically refers to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") or U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP").
People who are detained
We do not use the term "detainee" for people who are in an immigration detention center - prison. We believe that word is dehumanizing and have chosen to use "people who are currently detained" instead.
Reasonable fear interview
A "reasonable" fear interview is conducted by an asylum officer. In a "reasonable fear" interview, a person has to credibly establish that there is a "reasonable possibility" they would be persecuted in the future on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
An ICE ACCESS program that checks a person's fingerprints against both immigration and criminal databases at the time of arrest or booking. If a person is matched to a record indicating some immigration history, ICE and the jail are automatically notified. ICE then decides what enforcement action will be taken, including whether a detainer will be issued.
The 2010 Arizona law also known as the "Show-Me-Your-Papers" law is a racist enforcement policy that calls for state police to check the "immigration status" of people in Arizona and encourages racial profiling. This law continues to be in effect in Arizona.
287G is a Memorandum of Agreement between a local government and the Department of Homeland Security under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under this agreement, ICE briefly trains local enforcement agents who are then granted limited immigration enforcement authority to investigate, apprehend and/or detain deportable immigrants.
Tent cities are makeshift outdoor prisons used by law enforcement to further dehumanize individuals under its control and to further strip individuals of basic human dignity. Generally, tent cities employ vicious practices, provide substandard housing and food, negligible recreation opportunities, and rehabilitation services.
Brief Overview: The Incarceration Crisis in Arizona
An aggressive, unforgiving criminal legal system that criminalizes migrants in Arizona and is disproportionately felt by communities of color.
Notice I’m Being Killed
Abysmal, inhumane, and deadly conditions inside the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Valentina’s case is a gross travesty and emblematic of the inhumane and unjust system of incarceration in Phoenix.
Rise of the Polimigra and the Deportation Pipeline
The collaboration between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement is sometimes referred to as the “polimigra.”
Welcome to Eloy
A prison town.
The Economics of Eloy
"Once you are in there, you are just a bunk number. You don’t get out until they let you out.”
Medical Care: Dollar Store Medicine
One interview described “Dollar Store” pills that does not cure an ailment but merely covers it up.
Stories from Eloy: Antonio
“For the people inside, I would tell them to hold on, that your family is waiting for you.”
“Segregation,” or Solitary Confinement
Recreation in a killing cage that has been banned in most facilities in Arizona.
Stories from Eloy: Jose de Jesus
“If I die in ICE custody, don’t believe their lies.” – Jose de Jesus
Pregnant Women in Detention
We met a woman who was almost eight months pregnant that said she was always hungry and she had lost weight in detention.
Dining at Eloy
Killer salsa, moldy bread, rancid beans, and water with worms.
Hygiene and Basic Human Dignity Denied
The only access to water is from the faucet, a questionable source for cleanliness and safety.
Stories from Eloy: Crochet at Christmas
We heard several accounts of basic denials of human dignity, like throwing Christmas gifts in the trash.
Inside Eloy: Burning Feet
Shoes so cheap that the hot Arizona pavement burns through and blisters your feet.
Voluntary? Work Program: $1 a Day per Job
Jobs of $1 per day per prisoner garners a profit for the corporate owners of Eloy.
Mail in Detention
“My job is to deport them.”
Advancement Project National Office’s visit to the Eloy Detention Center and the documented proof of Arizona's treatment of people who are incarcerated, highlights the importance of the need for people power. At the root of the immigration detention system is the criminalization of Black and Brown people in-state laws and how over- policing, racial profiling and harsh sentencing laws funnel people of color into the state prison industrial complex.
Congress must act to defund ICE and CBP. Congress must eliminate the detention bed quota requiring a daily minimum detention of 34,000 people. We demand decriminalization of migration and Advancement Project National Office and Puente Human Rights Movement call for humane treatment for those who are detained.
Join the cause
These systems, and the inhumane ways that our people are treated both inside and outside of jail cells will only change if people demand the change. Add your name to learn more and send a message to Congress today!
Download the full report, The Carceral State of Arizona: The Human Cost of Being Confined, and additional resources for you and your organization to use. If you are part of a non-profit grassroots group, you can request information regarding ICE or CBP from the federal government through the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), which is included in the section below.
THE CARCERAL STATE OF ARIZONA:
THE HUMAN COST OF BEING CONFINED
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Puente Human Rights Movement (“Puente”) is a grassroots migrant justice organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. Founded in 2007, Puente’s membership and leadership has always been comprised of those most impacted by anti-immigrant policies and laws: currently and formerly undocumented people, those in mixed-status families, and people of color affecting rampant racial profiling.
Advancement Project National Office is a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. Advancement Project National Office’s Immigrant Justice Project supports grassroots organizations in building power to end the racist criminalization of migration. We use litigation, advocacy, organizing, and strategic communications to strengthen the capacity of our frontline partners.