Community Leaders Demand ICE Restore Visitation Rights to Activists Who Were Banned After Speaking Out Against Miramar ICE Facility

Bud Conlin & Tomas Kennedy Are Being Punished for Exercising their First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech After Protesting the Miramar ICE Facility’s Inhumane Frequency of Check-ins and Poor Conditions

Miami, FL  - On Thursday, community members gathered outside the Miramar ICE Facility to demand that ICE restore visitation rights for Bud Conlin and Tomas Kennedy, two men who regularly visit immigrants that are imprisoned in Krome Detention Center.

Conlin and Kennedy were indefinitely banned by ICE from entering their detention camps due to their participation in a non-violent act of civil disobedience at the Miramar ICE check-in facility earlier this year, infringing Conlin and Kennedy’s First Amendment rights.

You can read more about ICE’s ban on the two organizers here and about the history of Miramar check-ins below.

Friends of Miami-Dade Detainees, Freedom for Immigrants, the ACLU of Florida, United We Dream, and Florida Immigrant Coalition have all signed onto a letter that will be delivered to ICE, formally demanding ICE restore Conlin and Kennedy’s right to visitation.

Background on ICE Check-ins:  The Miramar ICE facility is the place where immigrant families with pending immigration cases go to meet face-to-face with a deportation agent who sets conditions and restrictions for how an immigrant family must live while their case is ongoing. At any moment during a check-in, the deportation agent can decide that the family will be deported. They can lose everything in an instant, and only a few can appeal the agent’s decision — but  only after being placed behind bars at a detention camp.

Ever since Trump’s administration began, ICE has changed its check-ins from  once every year  to  once every 3 months, and in some cases, once every 15 days. They put families through a cycle of intimidation and control.

Since Trump’s inauguration, community leaders have organized a weekly Circle of Protection, wherein they are stationed outside of the Miramar ICE Facility to provide Know Your Rights trainings, access to United We Dream’s deportation defense hotline, food, and emotional support for families.