John Morton, Director Daniel Ragsdale, Deputy Director, Office of Detention Policy and Planning Andrew Lorenzen-Strait

, Deputy Assistant Director Custody Programs and Community Outreach U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 500 12th St., SW Washington, D.C. 20536 David Marin, Acting Field Office Director Robert Naranjo, Assistant Field Office Director Los Angeles Field Office U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 300 North Los Angeles St., #7621 Los Angeles, CA 90012 August 1, 2013 Re: Reinstatement of Visitation Programs at the Adelanto Detention Center, the James Musick Facility, and the Santa Ana City Jail

Dear Sirs: We write in regard to the temporary suspension, or "pause," of the Friends of Adelanto Detainees program at the Adelanto Detention Facility as well as the Friends of Orange County Detainees at the James Musick Facility and the Santa Ana City Jail. On July 24, 2013, Jan Meslin (Program Coordinator of Friends of Orange County Detainees) received two separate phone calls from ICE’s Los Angeles Field Office telling her that her visitation programs had been temporarily suspended. Later that morning, Victoria Mena (Program Coordinator of Friends of Adelanto Detainees) received a written email from ICE’s Los Angeles Field Office, stating the same. The contents of the email read as follows: “Ms. Mena, the Friends of Adelanto Program has been suspended until further notice. Please let your participants know as they will not be able to access Adelanto detainees.” Friends of Adelanto Detainees and Friends of Orange County Detainees are visitation programs that offer people in immigration detention a connection to the outside world through community visitation. Visitor volunteers meet with immigrants in detention during regular visiting hours on a weekly basis, and visitors know whom to visit in detention because ICE posts sign-up sheets in each of the detention facilities. Friends of Adelanto Detainees and Friends of Orange County Detainees are members of the national network of visitation programs known as Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC). CIVIC has nearly 30 visitation programs in its network, and in February 2013, ICE’s Public Advocate published an article written by CIVIC’s cofounder Christina Fialho about the power of visitation programs. CIVIC has been thankful for ICE’s support for visitation programs, and we hope to see ICE maintain public trust and transparency in the greater Los Angeles area by working with Friends of Orange County Detainees and Friends of Adelanto Detainees. Community volunteers such as those with Friends of Adelanto Detainees and Friends of Orange County Detainees are often the only consistent community connection for men and women in ICE custody because many people in immigration detention do not have family members nearby. As one of the only consistent links to the outside world, visitation programs can lessen the emotional toll of confinement by providing sustained community support.

CIVIC would like to chart out a common understanding with ICE so that we can continue to work together to better the lives of people in immigration detention. In order to do so, we have outlined what we understand so far from our conversation with Mr. Lorenzen-Strait on Wednesday, July 31. On Friday, July 26, CIVIC’s co-executive director Christina Fialho received an email from Michael P. Reid, Senior Advisor of Custody Programs and Community Outreach at ICE, stating the following: “Christina: I am emailing on behalf of Andrew Lorenzen-Strait. We would like to discuss recent media attention regarding CIVIC's visitation programs in southern California. Would you have time next week for a conference call Tuesday or Wednesday after 4:00 (ET)? Thank you. Mike.” On the July 31st conversation with Mr. Lorenzen-Strait, Christina Fialho, Christina Mansfield (coexecutive director of CIVIC), Jan Meslin, and Victoria Mena were in attendance. The following is what CIVIC understood from the conversation: To begin, both programs were given no explanation for the suspension, but after the phone call with Mr. Lorenzen-Strait on July 31st, it seems that the suspension is a result of recent media exposure garnered by the groups and especially CIVIC’s co-executive director Christina Fialho’s blog on the Huffington Post. Mr. Lorenzen-Strait first explained that ICE would like “a heads up that we are going to be issuing an article in the Huffington Post.” Ms. Fialho explained that she had given Mr. Lorenzen-Strait a heads up about the content of her blog, Who Is Overseeing Immigration Detention? (posted on July 22), when she met with him at UC Irvine where they discussed the various concerns volunteer visitors had about the treatment of gay and transgender immigrants detained at the Santa Ana City Jail. She also explained in that meeting at UC Irvine that she hoped the training at the Santa Ana City Jail would comply with the eight hours of training dictated in ICE’s contract with the Santa Ana City Jail. During the phone conversation on July 31st, Mr. Lorenzen-Strait went on to explain that he does not want to see “blogs about petitions and hunger strikes.” This referred to another blog Ms. Fialho wrote about a Vietnam veteran in immigration detention at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona who had gone on a hunger strike to protest his prolonged detention (Detained U.S. Veteran on Hunger Strike at Eloy Detention Center, posted July 8) and the petition CIVIC had initiated for this veteran. Mr. Lorenzen-Strait further explained that Ms. Fialho’s blogging on the Huffington Post transformed her into a “media representative” as defined by Standard 7.2 of ICE’s 2011 PBNDS. He further explained that if Ms. Fialho wanted to continue to blog for the Huffington Post, she would have to give ICE notice before she posts a blog and she and any visitation program volunteers would be considered “media representatives” moving forward. In order to chart out a pathway forward for ICE and CIVIC to continue working together, Ms. Fialho asked if Mr. Lorenzen-Strait could provide clarity as to why the visitation program at Adelanto had been suspended when the articles written did not mention Adelanto. Mr. Lorenzen-Strait explained that he was not willing to talk about specific instances because there was not one action, but rather a serious of issues that compounded it and produced an erosion of trust and rapport at the local level. It is important to mention here that the visitation program at Adelanto had only been in operation for one week and a half before it was suspended. It also is important to mention that CIVIC’s contact at the Los Angeles Field Office, who has always been very supportive and even has gone out of his way to assist the program, shared that this directive to suspend the programs came from ICE’s national office. Mr. Lorenzen-Strait continued to explain that the suspensions are due to a number of issues in other states. Ms. Fialho tried to clarify the issues as it was not clear that these other issues were related to CIVIC visitation programs, but Mr. Lorenzen-Strait was not willing to discuss these specific issues.

Mr. Lorenzen-Strait did indicate that he had reviewed posts made by Friends of Adelanto Detainees’ leaders on Facebook and their website, quoted excerpts on the call, and asked that certain posts be taken down. Mr. Lorenzen-Strait further mentioned that the language on the Friends of Adelanto Detainees’ wordpress was “not the type of vernacular that goes to trying to work with ICE” and that it is instead “the type of vernacular that erodes the trust and collaboration.” ICE’s response to CIVIC’s media presence on blogs and other websites is deeply concerning. Visitation programs have always feared speaking up when they see injustices and abuses in immigration detention facilities for fear of retaliation from ICE or the facilities. In the past, CIVIC has witnessed people in detention thrown into solitary confinement and transferred away from communities of support when we speak up about basic conditions and human rights abuses. We have seen individual visitors who have spoken up prevented from entering detention facilities, but this is the first time we have seen ICE take the drastic step of suspending three visitation programs in their entirety. CIVIC also is profoundly concerned with the “no access list” that ICE has directed GEO Group to create of our volunteers. On July 26th, two volunteers with Friends of Adelanto Detainees tried to visit a man who had never signed up for a visit with Friends of Adelanto Detainees. The volunteers had been asked by this gentleman’s family to visit him, and Vickie Mena had been visiting this man months before the Friends of Adelanto Detainees conducted their first official visit under the program. When the volunteers arrived at Adelanto, GEO Group told the volunteers that their names were on a list and they would not be allowed past security. The volunteers were shown a copy of this list, which contained other volunteer visitor names, but were not given a copy of the list despite requests for a copy. GEO Group instructed the volunteers to vacate the premises or GEO would call the Sherriff’s Department. While this was happening, Christina Fialho of CIVIC called GEO Group and spoke with Neil Clark, Warden of the Adelanto Detention Center and an employee of GEO Group. Neil explained that GEO Group follows the direction of ICE and that ICE’s National Office had directed them to prevent volunteers with Friends of Adelanto from visiting and to compile a list of the volunteers of the program and prevent them from passing security. Neil also explained that this list was a list in progress, as ICE had asked them not only to compile a list of volunteers who had already visited under the name of Friends of Adelanto Detainees, but also a list of other individuals they determine in the future are volunteers with the program. Neil did say that he has had no problems with Friends of Adelanto Detainees and would welcome them back as visitors if ICE approved the reinstatement of the program, but requested in the meantime that Ms. Fialho advise the volunteers to vacate the premises or he would have to call the Sherriff’s Department. The volunteers left the premises immediately after this conversation. CIVIC would like to chart out a common understanding with ICE so that we can continue to work together to better the lives of people in immigration detention, especially considering our continued good relations with the jails themselves. We would like to enter into a dialogue with you and develop some parameters for visitor volunteers so that we all are operating under reasonable expectations and understanding of one another. We’d like to request a series of meetings, ideally in person, to develop potential policies and guidelines that both visitor volunteers and ICE are comfortable with for visitor volunteers and local field offices to communicate concerns. As we hope to see these conversations occur over the next several weeks, we respectfully request that in the meantime, ICE provides the following in an effort of good faith to CIVIC, Friends of Adelanto Detainees, and Friends of Orange County Detainees: 1. A written statement from ICE’s National Office, stating the full reason for why these three visitation programs were temporarily suspended so that we can understand these reasons and move forward appropriately; and

2. Full and immediate reinstatement of the visitation programs at the Santa Ana City Jail, James Musick Facility, and Adelanto Detention Center, including the posting of our pre-approved sign-up sheets in the detention facility pods, so that we can continue to support people in immigration detention while we work with ICE to develop a standard for community visitation programs. Thank you for your time, and we look forward to continuing to develop a strong working relationship with you and your contracted facilities. Sincerely, Christina Fialho Co-Founder/Executive Director Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) Jan Meslin Program Coordinator, Friends of Orange County Detainees Victoria Mena Program Coordinator, Friends of Adelanto Detainees