Ask Obama to end the detention of immigrants, whether they are undocumented or not. Ask the rest of your elected officials to do the same. You may use my letter (below), if you like, or write your own.
Dear President Obama,
I campaigned for you in Missouri and it still makes me crazy happy to hear people on the radio say "President Obama." I'm glad to see that you've put a stop to the Global Gag Rule, created an office for Women's and Girls' Issues, and ordered the closure of Guantanamo Bay. I'm writing to you today to ask you to do something about the immigration system and particularly the detention system for immigrants.
The Associated Press reports that most immigrants who are currently detained have "no criminal conviction, not even for illegal entry or low-level crimes like trespassing." They also report that "More than 400 of those with no criminal record had been incarcerated for at least a year. A dozen had been held for three years or more; one man from China had been locked up for more than five years." This is outrageous! The article further reports that despite a 2001 ruling that ICE has only 6 months to either deport or release people they've detained, the ICE has flouted this deadline and held more than 900 people for longer than six months.
Our prison system is already bloated, abusive, and of questionable efficacy; it is shameful and condemnable that we are engorging the prison system by locking up folks who have committed no crime, just for being from out of town. When we lose our compassion and start locking up people just because they're different from us we have also lost our humanity.
Please do something to end this crisis in the immigration system. Please release those people who have been detained and never charged. Please release those people who have committed no crimes. Please allow those people who have committed low-level, non-violent crimes or misdemeanors access to bail. Please help those folks who are here undocumented to become documented and to learn English if necessary. Please stop the incarceration and deportation of undocumented people and children who have committed no crimes.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to your steps to end this deplorable situation. Here is the link to the article I'm referring to: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090315/ap_on_re_us/detained_immigrants