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Don't Keep the Nuns Waiting
April 28, 2009

Sister of Mercy Pat Murphy just celebrated her 80th Birthday but she is not slowing down. For more than two years she and Sister Jo Ann Persch, RSM, 74, have prayed the rosary every Friday morning at 7:15 a.m. in front of the Broadview Federal Immigrant Detention Center. They pray outside because ICE will not let them pray inside with the detainees. More than 11,000 immigrants have been deported from this facility in the past year.

Sister Pat, Sister Jo Ann, and a group of priests, pastors, rabbis, imams, and allies including Joshua Hoyt, ICIRR's Director have announced they are willing to block the driveway of the Broadview Center with 15 minutes of prayer. Their demand is simple: Allow religious workers in to provide pastoral care to the detainees.

Please join us at Broadview in solidarity with Sister Pat, Sister Jo Ann, and with the immigrant detainees:

Thursday, April 30th 2009 
10:30 am to 11:30 am 
1930 Beach St, Broadview, IL (Just west of Oak Park)

Download Flyer Here.

To participate, call Ashley Wooten of ICIRR at (312) 332-7360 ext. 226 or email

The Broadview facility, in west suburban Chicago, is where immigrants arrested by ICE throughout the Midwest and beyond are brought for initial processing before moving them to county jails to be detained. ICE also brings detainees back to Broadview for processing before transporting them to area airports for deportation. In the past federal fiscal year 11,000 immigrants have been deported through Broadview.

The pace of detention and deportation has accelerated over the past few years--and with it the human toll. During the past federal fiscal year, ICE deported 357,000 immigrants, a 50% jump from three years before. In January, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General estimated that from 1998 to 2007, the US has deported more than 108,000 immigrants who have U.S. citizen children.

ICE's detention capacity has increased to a record-high 33,400, having added 10,450 detention beds during the past two years.

Learn more Facts about immigration detention here.

Links to Immigration Stories in the News:

Washington Post - Careless Detention: System of Neglect

CBS News - Detention in America

New York Times - Few Details on Immigrants Who Died in Custody

New York Times - Immigrant Detainee Dies, and a Life is Buried, Too

"It is vitally important to get inside these detention facilities, not just to pray with and comfort the detainees, but also to hear how they are getting the care they need while in custody," noted Sister Pat. "As more and more immigrants go through these facilities, it will become even more essential that we make sure these facilities offer detainees the care they need."

"Broadview represents federal policies that are tearing families apart, denying children the love and support of their parents, and denying our country of the contributions these immigrants could be making to our country," said ICIRR executive director Joshua Hoyt, who is joining the sisters for the Broadview action. "We need to call the question: ‘will the Administration take simple, humane steps to show it is serious about helping immigrant families and follow through on its commitment to immigration reform?’ These families cannot wait."

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is working with a national alliance of other organizations including the Rights Working Group and the Detention Watch Network, which are undertaking the Hold DHS Accountable campaign.

Press Contact Information
Mr Christian Fuchs
202-462-0400 ext. 5946