The Hidden Tragedy of Detained Immigrants:

A book by Faris Iqbal & Christina Mansfield

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 4.41.38 PM.png

About the book

What is life really like inside immigration detention? There is no definitive answer to that question, simply because every experience is different for the more than 400,000 individuals who each year are systematically thrown by the U.S. government into a vast network of jails and prisons where they languish indefinitely.

The question itself is radical in nature. As advocates who have spent over a decade trying to understand, define, analyze and, most importantly, abolish a system that was deliberately built in the shadows, to gain access into this world through the eyes of the very person this system was designed not only to oppress but also erase is a bold act of resistance.

“The Hidden Tragedy of Detained Immigrants” was written from inside the confines of this growing beast in the hopes of shining a light on what is experienced in the dark depths of this country’s mass incarceration system that subjects immigrants to all forms of abuse.

Author Faris Iqbal writes, “surviving in immigration detention feels like pushing a heavy stone up a mountain only to arrive at the top and experience the stone rolling back on top of you.”

As the reader will come to understand through the author's personal, yet universal, account, being locked up in immigration detention is a perpetual act of survival, facing one obstacle after another in the labyrinth that is our immigration system, one in which a person — a mother, a father, a son, a daughter — fights against all odds to draw out hope to its very last drop.

We hope the reader will gain new insight into this profit-driven, inhumane system that has claimed the lives of hundreds of individuals and caused the rupture of thousands upon thousands of immigrant families and communities not merely as an observer but as an actor.

Because, as the author concludes, “we cannot claim that immigrants held in detention are responsible for our problems when the responsibility for ignoring their plight rests squarely—and immorally—on our shoulders.”

"The Hidden Tragedy of Detained Immigrants" is a call to action, reminding us that our voices are critical in alleviating the suffering of immigrants and in bringing an end to this brutal institution. 

***All proceeds will go toward securing a person's freedom through our National Detention Bond Fund. Learn more. ***

Listen to an excerpt

The excerpt is narrated by Carlos Hidalgo, who is a part of Freedom for Immigrants' Leadership Council and a formerly detained individual. 


Purchase the book