Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Global Justice Bexhill and Hastings, part of Global Justice Now

Global Justice Bexhill and Hastings, part of national Global Justice Now campaign organisation

Global Justice protest local links to US child detention

Activists from Global Justice Bexhill and Hastings have stated their intention to protest on Friday 23 November at 9am outside the offices of Hastings firm, General Dynamics UK on Castleham Road, St Leonards over the role of its parent company in the detention of refugee children in the United States, writes HOT’s Zelly Restorick. A letter has gone from the local group  to the CEO/ Managing Director requesting a meeting to discuss their concerns. 

Following the global uproar against the the Trump administration’s child separation  policy this summer, it cancelled the separation policy and undertook efforts at family reunification. However, there are hundreds of children who have still not been reunited with their families, and, in some cases, may never be.

It is not just separation. Under the Trump presidency, the number of children held in detention in the US has skyrocketed to its highest ever levels, from 2,400 in 2017 to over 12,000 at present. The administration is also pushing to dramatically increase the amount of time undocumented families can be detained, as well as to speed up the deportation process.

The protest is part of a wave of activities targeting the companies profiting from immigration detention in the US, which includes calls for pension funds to divest from these companies. It comes as Donald Trump announces plans to end the ‘birthright’ policy, whereby anyone born in the US automatically qualifies for citizenship, ahead of the US midterm elections.

Christina Lucey of Global Justice Bexhill and Hastings said:“We want to show support for everyone on the receiving end of Donald Trump’s callous attitude to refugees and migrants, including the hundreds of children and their families who have still not been reunited, despite the global outrage earlier this year. It is disturbing to have a part of that detention system on our doorstep. We are calling on General Dynamics to stop profiting from detention. It’s as simple as that.”

Ed Lewis, migration campaigner at Global Justice Now UK said: “It has been a year of migration scandals, from Windrush in the UK, to Trump’s child separation policy, and Italy shutting its ports to migrant rescue ships from the Mediterranean. When you have some of the richest societies in the world deporting people after many decades, putting children in cages or leaving people to drown as a deterrent, all in the name of protection, it is time for ordinary people to say: ‘Not in our name.’

“We must unite in every community to build bridges not walls. That includes putting pressure on the companies profiting from these border regimes to do the right thing and refuse to enable such cruel policies”

Statement from General Dynamics

“General Dynamics Information Technology has provided support to unaccompanied minors through its work with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, since 2000,” writes Amanda Jackson from General Dynamics.

“This includes casework support services to help ensure special needs of unaccompanied children are met, including medical requirements, and to facilitate family reunification, only after children are under the care of Health and Human Services.

“General Dynamics Information Technology has no role in the family separation policy, nor a role in the construction or operation of detention facilities.”

General Dynamics-600pix

Image supplied by General Dynamics

Global Justice Bexhill and Hastings
is part of the national Global Justice Now campaign network, which calls for migrants to be treated humanely around the world.

General Dynamics UK is a defence company and supplier to the Ministry of Defence. It is part of General Dynamics Corporation, a company which works as part of the immigration detention system in the United States.

Hastings Against War info on General Dynamics.

Posted 12:57 Monday, Nov 19, 2018 In: Politics

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