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Ash Wednesday march set to protest immigrant detention system

For immigrants, the path to U.S. citizenship is a tough one. There are applications to file and tests to take, and some people unfortunately are placed in immigrant detention facilities, which many people agree are more concerned with profits than with the humanity of detainees. Federal officials say that steps have been taken to make conditions better in the immigrant detention system, but advocates for immigrants' rights are speaking out that more needs to be done.

Some of these advocates are set to protest the inhumane treatment of immigrants by marching 10 miles from Ellis Island to Elizabeth, New Jersey, where the Elizabeth Detention Center is located. The annual march was scheduled for 10 a.m. today, Ash Wednesday, and will start at Liberty State Park.

Holding signs that read, "No Human Being Is Illegal" and "Immigrants Are Not Criminals," the protesters want more people to be aware of the inhumane treatment of immigrants. Along the way, the marchers will stop in several cities to hold demonstrations that show how immigrants and their families suffer because of the current detention system. These demonstrations will be held in Jersey City, Hackensack, Newark, South Kearny and Elizabeth.

This year has already promised continuing discussion of the need for changes in the U.S. immigration system, and the many problems with detention centers constitute one serious facet. Meaningful immigration reform will require increased awareness on the part of legislators and the general public.

Immigrants, too, need to be aware of their legal options for obtaining citizenship. Immigrants in New York, New Jersey and throughout the country are encouraged to visit our deportation defense site for more information. Our firm handles immigrant detention cases.

Source:, "N.J. immigration rights advocates to march from Liberty State Park to Elizabeth," Feb. 13, 2013

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