Cameroonian immigrants lead Juneteenth protest against racist treatment at ICE Detention Center
To mark Juneteenth, Cameroonian and other African immigrants in Louisiana staged a protest against racist detention conditions they are forced to confront at ICE’s Pine Prairie Processing Center.
About 40 Anglophone Cameroonians have been in detention there for several months to close to two years as they await bond, parole, and asylum hearings, and are now dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, which has already upended normal operations at Pine Prairie.
They are all asylum-seekers who presented themselves legally at the border with Mexico. They face discriminatory conditions that non-Black immigrants do not face that include a lack of progress on their asylum application processes, atrocious and exploitive healthcare, racial slurs, and a judge that refuses to validate their documents.
Latinx immigrants are released regularly, whereas only seven Black immigrants face in Pine Prairie have been released on parole in the past ten months, one detainee said.
On Thursday, the group organized a protest in the cafeteria where they eat lunch to plead for help ahead of Juneteenth, a celebration of Black freedom from slavery in the US.
I wrote about the conditions at Pine Prairie for Business Insider in May. There is massive under-testing for Covid-19 and detainees don’t have access to masks despite the fact they share dorms with up to 70 other people.
To support the Cameroonians at Pine Prairie, call the Oakdale Immigration Court at 318-335-0365 and demand their immediate release. The racist judge in question is Scott Laragy.
You can also call the ICE Louisiana field office at (504) 599-7800 and demand their immediate release.
You can contribute to their commissary fund organized by the Cameroon American Council here: https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8q2CL3...
The video was edited by myself and Ladan Osman.