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A detainee talks on a pay phone in a residential pod during a media tour of the ICE detention center in Tacoma, Washington, December 16, 2019. Ted S. Warren/AP Photo
In the first episode of the final season of prison dramedy Orange is the New Black, one character, Maritza Ramos, faces deportation. She is held at an immigrant detention center—which, beyond the show, currently hold more than 30,000 immigrants and are some of the most impenetrable places in the country for journalists. A friend gives Ramos a gift: the number for a free hotline that can provide help. “You gotta be careful, though,” the friend warns. “Apparently, as soon as Big Brother figures out you’re using the hotline, they shut it down.”
The National Immigration Detention Hotline is very real, and is run by Freedom for Immigrants, an advocacy organization whose goal is the abolition of the US immigration detention system. Since 2013, FFI has operated the nation’s largest immigration detention hotline to monitor conditions in detention facilities, and to provide detained immigrants with a way to seek legal assistance, report alleged abuse or neglect, or simply talk with family and loved ones, who sometimes have no idea where they are (many are often transferred between facilities or do not have funds to pay for calls). The hotline is an extension operated through US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s free and confidential national phone program.
At the time the Orange is the New Black episode aired, last July, the hotline, which was
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/analysis/ice-hotline-lawsuit-immigration-oitnb.php