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This toolkit is designed to help strengthen the sanctuary and refugee rights movements by providing a platform to look at and strengthen sanctuary campaigns and policies through an anti-war lens. The goal is to highlight the role of the U.S.’ actions in producing migration; the multiple systems of oppression, both in home countries and in the United States that impact refugees and immigrants; and the challenge of working to support refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in the context of on-going parallel threats to the safety and security of other vulnerable people, particularly in Indigenous and Black American communities. This toolkit includes several resources, including articles and discussion questions on migration, articles on U.S. militarism domestically and abroad, film suggestions related to refugees and immigrants, a guide to getting a sanctuary resolution passed in your city, outreach language including sample op-eds and press releases, and lastly, a list of relevant immigration/refugee/anti-war organizations.
The criminalization of immigration through policies such as the “Zero Tolerance” policy has swelled the numbers of people in U.S. detention centers. Recent reports have exposed the inhumane conditions in these centers, including those that have caused dozens of deaths. Many people have contested the very existence of these detention centers, given these abysmal conditions, and have called for investigation and a total reassessment of the mass detention of asylum seekers and immigrants. When faced with this criticism, one of the main defenses of government officials in states and counties where the centers are located is that they make economic sense. The centers, it is argued, bring revenue and jobs to areas that need them. This IPS report punctures this myth by looking into a large immigrant detention center in rural New Mexico run by CoreCivic, one of the largest private corporations running prisons and detention centers. The authors find that the economic and jobs arguments are grossly overstated for multiple reasons.