May Reading


We appreciated this piece on statelessness in the US, from the United Nations Refugee Agency, and the Tulane Immigrant Rights Clinic has produced a report on immigration detention in Louisiana that we are dying to see.

“The report, titled No End in Sight: Prolonged and Punitive Immigration Detention in Louisiana, is the result of a year of research analyzing the 499 Louisiana habeas cases filed in federal court from 2010 to 2020. Researchers found that by the time that detained immigrants filed habeas petitions in court, they have typically already endured nearly one year and one month of detention. On average, the cases last a further six months, during which the immigrant is still held in confinement. Researchers also found serious challenges for detainees to access lawyers to represent them in their habeas case, with 85% of detained immigrants filing their cases without legal representation. Lastly, they found disturbing racial disparities, with Black immigrants representing more than half of detained immigrants filing habeas petitions. The researchers offer recommendations to the Court, immigration authorities, and advocates to reduce potentially unconstitutional detention and promote transparent, efficient, and reasoned adjudication.”

This Week in Immigration

Reposted from Immigration Impact by LA-AID

The American Immigration Council sends weekly newsletters. Here is the one for this week!


  • The Biden administration announced it is seeking to increase legal pathways for those interested in performing seasonal work in the U.S. this year. If accomplished, the move would offer 22,000 additional guest worker visas—a substantial increase in the number of H-2B visas—which otherwise caps at 66,000 per year and allows people to enter the U.S. for seasonal work in industries such as tourism and landscaping.  Current U.S. immigration law provides several paths for foreign workers to enter the United States for employment purposes on a temporary or permanent basis. This fact sheet from the American Immigration Council provides basic information about how the employment-based U.S. immigration system works. Read more: Employment-Based Visa Categories in the United States


  • The Biden administration’s deadline to conduct a 100-day review of its enforcement priorities is fast approaching. Meanwhile ICE has yet to announce a formal process to review the cases of those in its custody for release. The American Immigration Council’s Immigration Justice Campaign—a nationwide network of volunteer attorneys and advocates that serves thousands of detained individuals who would otherwise go unrepresented—is working to ensure people have the help of a dedicated attorney to ask ICE to review their cases and release them from detention. Understanding the experiences of detained individuals and the harsh realities of immigration detention are an important reminder of why we must ensure that ICE is held accountable to its new enforcement priorities and case review process.  Read more: Impacted Individuals Build the Case to End Immigration Detention


“The Trump-era approach to interior enforcement was to cast as wide a net as possible, to enforce immigration law by dragnet, with the goal of terrorizing communities, instilling fear and, ultimately, the sort of overarching goal was to create deterrents to immigrating to the United States.

“What the Biden administration did was to try to create priorities and new levels of oversight mechanisms to redirect immigration enforcement so that we’re not going after people who have been in the United States for many years, people who have strong ties to our communities.”

– Jorge Loweree, policy director at the American Immigration Council


New Reimbursement Policy


The revised reimbursement policy for the Acadiana Group is available under “For Drivers and Hosts,” to your right, although you may request reimbursement for other out-of-pocket expenses. The driving and hosting reimbursement policies outlined here apply to people released from the ICE detention at Allen Parish, South Louisiana (Basile), and Pine Prairie.

The Biden Plan for Central America

By Leslie Bary

The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), area experts like Aviva Chomsky, and others are concerned about the Biden plan for Central America, which as Common Dreams explains, may exacerbate and not alleviate conditions there. Whatever the United States does in Central America will be felt here.

Obama and Biden functionary Cecilia Muñoz is far less critical of current policy and plans. It is interesting to see what she, from the point of view of the government, has to say about immigration policy and advocacy. Freedom for Immigrants, the organization with which we work the most closely, has these policy goals on immigration detention.

On the Haitian Bridge Project

By Leslie Bary

“That morning, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had forced 30 Haitians—almost all of them Black—to board a deportation flight from Alexandria, La.”

This is from The Nation, 5/12 April 2021 and the article is worth reading, as it has to do with New Orleans, and us, and of the depth of the work going on.

News Archive


In 2021 we’ve been too busy to keep up our news page. This is the archive. We plan to add to it, especially when LA-AID gets media attention. In the meantime, look too at the News link in our category cloud, to the right, headed “TOPICS.”

January 4, 2021
Djibril Coulibaly
Awaiting deportation in Louisiana after 19 years teaching school here.

December 22, 2020
Felber dismissal
Washington Post. Garrett Felber, a major scholar of mass incarceration, has been dismissed from the University of Mississippi.

December 18, 2020
Baton Rouge Advocate (Acadiana edition) on LA-AID
LA-AID Video for International Migrants Day

December 16, 2020
KRVS (Lafayette, LA) interview with Nell Hahn on LA-AID
On the political interview show Bayou to Beltway, with Pearson Cross.

November 22, 2020
Links to information and resources on Cameroon

September 1, 2020
Democracy Now on Hurricane Laura and asylum seeker strikes

August 14, 2020
Protest outside Pine Prairie
Protesters were pepper-sprayed by police, who later claimed the protesters had pepper-sprayed them.

UN News Release on the Use of Private Prisons


Via the Detention Watch Network:

GENEVA (4 February 2021) – A group of UN experts* welcomed the US decision to stop using privately run federal prisons and urged the Biden Administration to also end outsourcing of all detention centres, including those holding migrants and asylum seekers.

“Ending the reliance on privately run prisons for federal prisoners is an encouraging step, but further action is needed,” said Jelena Aparac, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries.

“Given the magnitude of mass incarceration in the US, this decision will benefit only the very small percentage of federal prisoners who are held in private prisons and specifically excludes vulnerable people held in migrant and asylum centres who are at particular risk of serious human rights violations.”

The US Department of Justice was ordered on 26 January not to renew its contracts with 12 privately operated federal criminal detention facilities. In 2019, there were about 116,000 prisoners held in privately operated facilities, representing about seven per cent of all state prisoners and 16 per cent of federal prisoners, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The experts urged the US to “eliminate all for-profit detention facilities”, saying that “detainees should not become units for profit”.

The Working Group has regularly expressed concern over the outsourcing of inherent State functions, including prisons and detention facilities. The issues of inadequate standards and grave human rights violations in migrant detention centres have been raised repeatedly with the US government and its contractors on involuntary sterilisations, solitary confinements and violations of the right to healthcare.

(*) The Working Group on the use of mercenaries is comprised of five independent experts: Jelena Aparac (Chair-Rapporteur), Lilian BobeaChris Kwaja, Ravindran Daniel, and Sorcha MacLeod

The Working Groups and Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

For more information and media requests please contact Khaled Hassine ( and Sofia Palli (, or write to

For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Renato de Souza (+41 22 928 9855 /