Obama Administration Includes Arbitrary Number of Detention Beds in FY 2015 Budget

Detention Watch Network Urges Congress to End the Quota and Reduce Wasteful Spending on the Incarceration of Immigrants

(Washington, D.C.) March 5, 2014 — Yesterday the Obama Administration released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security. The proposal includes $ 1.8 billion for detention and maintains funding for 30,539 beds. In response to release of the FY 2015 budget proposal, Silky Shah, Interim Executive Director of Detention Watch Network (DWN) states:

“DWN is disappointed to learn that the Obama administration continues to prioritize the mass detention and deportation of immigrants. The request to fund an arbitrary and predetermined number of detention beds underscores the use of a quota and is an obstacle toward true reform of a detention system that is rife with abuse.  While the Administration reduced the number of detention beds from its FY 2014 budget request, it is disappointing that President Obama has continued to fulfill the detention bed quota.  DWN calls upon Congress to eliminate the detention bed quota for FY 2015.

DWN notes that the President’s budget also requests $94.1 million in funding for Alternatives to Detention. However, it is currently unclear whether the expanded funding for Alternatives to Detention would reduce the detention population, which should be a priority.”

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The Detention Watch Network works through the collective strength and diversity of its members to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.

Special Event: The United States and the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty

(Washington, D.C.) February 10, 2014 — On Wednesday, February 19, the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit, with the support of the European Union, are holding an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., on the United States and the Mine Ban Treaty. Confirmed speakers include Nobel Peace Laureate Ms. Jody Williams and Prince Mired Bin Raad Al-Hussein of Jordan, Special Envoy for the Mine Ban Convention.

The event will be livestreamed and livetweeted.

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The event is hosted by the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit and Human Rights Watch on behalf of the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines, with the support of the European Union.

The United States and the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Washington, D.C.

Keynote Addresses (9:30am-9:55am)

Introduction by:

François Rivasseau, Deputy Head
European Union Delegation to the United States

Featuring:

Jody Williams
1997 Nobel Peace Laureate

Prince Mired Bin Raad Al-Hussein of Jordan
Special Envoy for the Mine Ban Treaty

Statement by Senator Patrick Leahy
read by Channapha Khamvongsa, Legacies of War

Break

U.S. Expert Panel Discussion (10:00am-11:15am)

Moderator:

Rachel Stohl
Stimson Center

Featuring:

Heidi Kuhn
Roots of Peace

Steve Goose
Human Rights Watch Arms Division

Ken Rutherford
Center for International Stabilization and Recovery

Lt. Gen. Robert Gard (Ret.)
Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Break

Closing Remarks (11:20am-11:30am)

Henrique Banze of Mozambique (invited)
President-Designate of the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference

To RSVP, please see details of the invitation.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Jesuit Refugee Service report highlights abuses against Central American migrants in Mexico

(Washington, D.C.) November 4, 2013 — A new report from Jesuit Refugee Service/USA notes that the flows of migrants from Central America toward the U.S. require special consideration both from a human rights perspective and because their vulnerability is intimately linked to continued regional insecurity.

The report, Persistent Insecurity: Abuses against Central Americans in Mexico, includes specific recommendations to alleviate the abuses faced by migrants on their journey. As they travel through Mexico, migrants are abused by organized crime syndicates, government officials and opportunistic criminals.

“Migrants are human beings who deserve dignity and respect,” said Mary Small, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Assistant Director of Policy. “Our communities and our governments can take steps to make sure these tragedies stop, whether it is migrants drowning in the Mediterranean or migrants being tortured and killed in Mexico.” Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. NGOs calls on G20 leaders to redouble diplomatic and humanitarian efforts on Syria

(St. Petersburg, Russia) Sept. 4, 2013 – As world leaders gather in here for the G20 summit, NGO alliance InterAction urges them to redouble diplomatic efforts on Syria and focus on responding to the dire humanitarian needs in the region, where the number of refugees eclipsed two million this week.

“The heavy toll of this two-year conflict on the Syrian people mounts every day,” said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction. “While humanitarian organizations continue to provide life-saving assistance, more must be done to bring about a solution to end the conflict and to alleviate suffering. Amid the escalating conflict, it is the world’s responsibility to ensure civilians are protected as much as possible.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Record-breaking Progress as States Race to Eliminate the Scourge of Cluster Bombs

Syria’s use of the banned weapon strongly condemned

(Geneva) September 4, 2013: Governments are making record-breaking progress as they race to fulfill the 2008 treaty banning cluster munitions, while Syria’s use of this banned weapon has been widely condemned, according to Cluster Munition Monitor 2013, a global report released today in Geneva.

“The impressive rate at which states are destroying millions of stockpiled cluster munitions shows that the Convention on Cluster Munitions is already making a real difference in saving lives,” said Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch, ban policy editor of Cluster Munition Monitor 2013. “By completing their stockpile destruction years in advance of deadline, states are boldly demonstrating their commitment to the treaty’s objective of ridding the world of these weapons.”

During 2012, the Netherlands finished the total destruction of its once-massive stockpile of cluster munitions and together with Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and others, destroyed a total of 173,973 cluster munitions and 27 million submunitions—the most in a year since the convention’s adoption and far exceeding 2011 totals, when states destroyed a total of 107,000 cluster munitions and 17.6 million submunitions.

Under the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, States Parties have a maximum period of eight years to destroy their stockpiled cluster munitions, but most are completing their destruction in half that time. Denmark and the United Kingdom, for example, announced plans to finish destruction by the end of this year, and Cote d’Ivoire finished destruction in early 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

Convention on Cluster Munitions Celebrates Third Anniversary: Senators and Congressman Call on Administration to Review Cluster Munitions Policy and Join Ban Treaty

ICBL_CMC(Washington, D.C.) August 1, 2013 — On the third anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the United States Campaign to Ban Cluster Bombs joins Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Patrick Leahy, and Rep. James McGovern in calling for the U.S. to review its existing cluster munitions policy and to take immediate steps toward joining the Convention.

“Every year cluster bombs kill and maim hundreds of innocent men, women, and children,” said Zach Hudson, coordinator of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Cluster Bombs. “The Convention on Cluster Bombs is saving lives every day as more and more states join and promise to never again use these devastating weapons. We echo this call for the United States to take these first steps towards joining the treaty.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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