Detention of immigrants in U.S.

jails focus of rally in Freehold July 18

Detention of immigrants in U.S.

jails focus of rally in Freehold July 18

FREEHOLD — On July 18 at 2 p.m., the Monmouth County Residents for Immigrants Rights, the New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee and the Workers Committee for Progress and Social Welfare will hold a march to protest the detainment and treatment of immigrants in United States prisons and to demand that they be freed.

"We are protesting the detention without charge of thousands of immigrants who are held in many jails throughout the United States," said Eric Lerner of the New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Com-mittee.

The march will begin at the Monmouth County Hall of Records on Main Street and end at the muster zone set up for day laborers on Throckmorton Street. There will be speakers and a rally at both ends.

The march is being held in Freehold because the organizers want to show that immigrants are organizing and fighting oppression as the day laborers in Freehold have done, said Lerner.

Lerner said a primary cause for concern is that people who are being detained do not have access to a lawyer or a trail by jury in most cases.

"Well over 90 percent of these people are not represented," he said. "The government in an unconstitutional way is keeping them outside the criminal justice system by holding them on civil charges."

Civil charges include minor traffic infractions such as speeding tickets.

Lerner said another cause for concern is the physical abuse of detainees. He claimed that detainees have been bitten by dogs or beaten in almost every New Jersey prison.

"Since 9/11, these detentions have been terrorizing the immigrant population," he said, adding that every citizen should be concerned about the abuse of immigrants in the United States.

"When one part of the population is deprived of rights, it endangers the rights of all," said Lerner.