Chelsea Manning

Abolish ICE - June 25, 2018

Chelsea Manning
June 25, 2018— Maryland
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Campaign status: Lost

MANNING: Maryland is a place of lush greenery and comfortable communities. But hidden in the dark corners of our beautiful state are sinister secrets. Jails and detention centers litter our state. They imprison the poor and the vulnerable. People of color, the homeless and immigrants. Our prison system isn't set up to provide justice or safety. I know because I spent seven years inside of it. Maryland is home to the Howard County Detention Center, where I spent a year of pretrial confinement. This is a county jail but it's implications aren't just local. It's one of ICE's primary detention centers and it houses hundreds of vulnerable immigrants as federal detainees. When I was there, I saw how terribly these people were being treated. Detainees are housed in squalor. Guards are cruel and instigate violence and ICE detainees aren't always entitled to lawyers, so they can't seek help. We talk about criminal justice reform like it's an abstract federal issue, but it starts at home, in our own backyards. ICE is rounding up members of our communities, of our churches, of our PTAs. Taking them away from their families. Holding them like animals. And we're doing nothing to help them? When we look back at history, we lionize those who stood up to injustice and fought for what is right. Now, as we face mass deportation and ethnic cleansing, it's time for us to do the same and protect those who need it. If we want to live in a community of safety and humanity, we can't sit idly by. We need a resistance movement. We need people to fight back, to defend freedom and justice and we need to do it together. We got this.