In addition to direct support of people in detention, another important task that DC DVN volunteers undertake is to shine a light on the immigration detention system. We do this by telling others about the system, and about the hundreds of thousands of detained individuals and their families and friends who are affected by it each year. Immigration detention often takes place in isolated or otherwise hidden locations; many Americans are not aware of its existence, scope, expense, or consequences. DC DVN strongly encourages its volunteers and trainees to be voices for the people directly affected by immigration detention, whose own voices and views are not heard often enough.
While we undertake education and advocacy in our personal lives as individuals, DC DVN is not an advocacy organization itself, and does not adopt nor seek to advance a public position on immigration or immigration detention policies. Our mission begins and ends with providing person-to-person support and friendship to people who are detained.
If you are interested in finding out more about political and social advocacy related to immigration detention, we recommend the following resources and organizations:
Take Action with the Detention Watch Network:
Respond to Action Alerts from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: https://secure2.convio.net/lirs/site/SPageServer/;jsessionid=DA9A9EB4F76BEAE46C6F10CC73C2BE74.app263a?pagename=action_home#.WOq8o461tE5
Download Toolkits for Starting Community Discussions about Immigration Detention from the Presbyterian Church:
Sign Up for Updates and Join Petitions Created by the ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/issues/immigrants-rights/immigrants-rights-and-detention
Watch a Video about the Connection Between Visiting Immigrants in Detention and Becoming an Advocate:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement posts regularly updated data about people and facilities in immigration detention online. To learn more, visit https://www.ice.gov/detain/detention-management.