state:
New Jersey
Local history:
"Seeking Asylum, Resisting Detention"
How can detained immigrants and asylees fight back?
Rutgers University-Newark | American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program
National Traveling Venue:
The Gateway Center Gallery
2 Gateway Center, Newark, NJ 07102-5005
October 18, 2017December 15, 2017

Upcoming Events

Friday, April 21, 2017 at 7PM
IN: Voices of Incarceration: Spoken Word, Art & Dialogue
Fletchers Place Art and Books
642 Virginia Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46203

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New Jersey: "Seeking Asylum, Resisting Detention"
How can detained immigrants and asylees fight back?
Rutgers University-Newark | American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program

In the mid-1990s, as concerns about terrorism and growing numbers of asylum seekers rose, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) contracted Esmor Correctional Services to open a detention facility in Elizabeth, NJ. After detainees’ complaints about inhumane conditions and a hunger strike were ignored, nearly 100 detainees, mostly men from Africa, “rioted" in June 1995, breaking furniture and windows. An assessment by INS discovered that “detainees were subjected to harassment, verbal abuse, and other degrading actions perpetrated by Esmor guards” who had been poorly trained and supervised. Soon after, Somalian asylum seeker Hawa Jama and 9 other detainees became plaintiffs in Jama v. Esmor Correctional Services, the first time detainees were given the right to sue a private corporation. The 2007 settlement awarded damages to the plaintiffs. The hunger strike, uprising and lawsuit illustrate ways that detainees have protested the conditions of their detention.

Our Point of View

Most of us came to this project with little knowledge about immigrant detention. We were shocked and dismayed to learn that less than 6 miles from our campus, more than 300 people were being held daily. Our panel attempts to highlight the voices and agency of detainees while examining how privatization, race, and the law have shaped the detention system in this country.

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New Jersey: "Seeking Asylum, Resisting Detention"    Rutgers University-Newark
How can detained immigrants and asylees fight back?
New Jersey: "Seeking Asylum, Resisting Detention"
How can detained immigrants and asylees fight back?
  Rutgers University-Newark
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Can Immigration Be a Game?
A Complex Web of Feelings
Local Issue
Partner
American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program

Members of our staff accompanied Rutgers Newark students and faculty participating in States of Incarceration to the Elizabeth Detention Center, a facility that houses immigrant detainees in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Making Art, Resisting Detention
Works of Feelings

National Exhibition Venue    The Gateway Center Gallery

Public Dialogues and Events
| October 18 – December 15, 2017

See Full Exhibition & Events Schedule
Exhibition
Oct 18, 2017
Hawa Jama

Hawa Jama, a 26-year-old Somalian asylum seeker, was jailed for 14 months before gaining asylum. She was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against Esmor and was awarded damages. Credit: Alan S. Weiner Courtesy of: Alan S. Weiner

Hawa Jama

Hawa Jama, a 26-year-old Somalian asylum seeker, was jailed for 14 months before gaining asylum. She was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against Esmor and was awarded damages. Credit: Alan S. Weiner Courtesy of: Alan S. Weiner

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

NJ: States of Incarceration Newark Opening

Description: 

In the mid-1990s, as concerns about terrorism and growing numbers of asylum seekers rose, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) contracted Esmor Correctional Services to open a detention facility in Elizabeth, NJ. After detainees’ complaints about inhumane conditions and a hunger strike were ignored, nearly 100 detainees, mostly men from Africa, “rioted” in June 1995, breaking furniture and windows. An assessment by INS discovered that “detainees were subjected to harassment, verbal abuse, and other degrading actions perpetrated by Esmor guards” who had been poorly trained and supervised. Soon after, Somalian asylum seeker Hawa Jama and 9 other detainees became...read more…

Venue: 

Gateway Project Spaces
2 Gateway Center,
Newark, NJ 07102

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