When Freedom for Immigrants (formerly CIVIC) began operation, there were only four visitation programs in the U.S., and it was the first organization of its kind in California. Today, Freedom for Immigrants coordinates visitation programs at 43 locations in 25 states, with more than 1,500 volunteers conducting in-person visits to immigrants in detention.
In addition to its work directly assisting immigrants through visitation, Freedom for Immigrants has pursued macro-level change through monitoring, advocacy, and storytelling. Freedom for Immigrants has produced short films telling the stories of people in immigration detention, conducted public awareness campaigns, monitored conditions in detention by building a national database to collect and analyze data on patterns of abuse across detention facilities, and co-sponsored the first two bills in the country to stop the expansion of immigration detention. Ultimately, Freedom for Immigrants advocates for an end to immigration detention through a Congressional decision to defund the detention system.
UUSC supports the expansion of Freedom for Immigrants’ national hotline for people in U.S. immigration detention. The hotline serves to end isolation, maximize attorney referrals, document and report human rights abuses, and challenge detention.