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In support of the end of detention

At Amica Center for Immigrant Rights (“Amica Center”), we believe no one should be jailed for their immigration status.

Last updated May 22, 2024

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention should NOT EXIST.

Detention is dehumanizing.

It separates people from their families and support systems during one of the of most challenging times of their lives.

It is also wrong for ICE to detain immigrants because they have criminal convictions. The criminal legal system and the immigration legal system must be disentangled.

But as long as detention exists, everyone who is detained should have access to a lawyer, regardless of their ability to afford one.


There is no right to a public defender in immigration court for people facing deportation to help fight their case. As a result, the majority of adults and children appearing in immigration courts nationwide face immigration judges alone, especially those who are detained.

Having a lawyer makes all the difference. Those who are detained and have access to lawyers are 10.5 times more likely to win their cases compared to those who are unrepresented.

This is why Amica Center is committed to making all efforts possible to expand access to counsel to our immigrant neighbors who are detained.

As ICE increasingly detains and transfers people from our Capital region to remote locations around the country, Amica Center is committed to pursuing all options to support them.


In most states, when detention centers close, ICE does not stop detaining people. Instead, they transfer immigrants to far away jails in remote areas of the country where access to attorneys is nearly impossible—and where they do not have the support of their family or community.

No matter how far ICE transfers someone, they deserve support and access to counsel.


No one should have to go through the United States’ unjust immigration system alone. Until detention ends, Amica Center is committed to reducing the harm caused by immigration detention, particularly the disparate impact on communities of color. This means:

  • Reducing the number of people who enter the criminal-detention-deportation pipeline
  • Providing free legal representation and education for people facing detention and deportation
  • Fighting the harsh and unjust immigration laws and practices that can mean the difference between life and death for our clients
  • Leading client-centered impact litigation and advocacy to transform our immigration system into one that is humane and just, affords everyone due process, protects all people seeking safety, and keeps communities together

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