Media Contact

Candace Coleman,

March 22, 2021


JACKSON, Miss. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi today launched Unalienable, a statewide campaign that will serve as the organization’s advocacy roadmap to address the harms that arise as a result of the entanglement between local law enforcement and federal immigration agencies.

Mississippi counties rank amongst the highest in terms of their involvement with ICE, inciting fear across Mississippi’s immigrant communities and introducing a host of public safety hazards at the local level. Interjurisdictional immigration enforcement dramatically worsens discriminatory policing, mass surveillance, public health emergencies, and other aspects of life for Mississippians, both documented and undocumented alike.

“A lot of immigrants in Canton, they do get robbed and they don’t report it because they’re scared. If I report this to the police, they’re going to find out my legal status, and I’m going to get deported,” said Esther, the daughter of immigrants.

The ACLU of Mississippi’s agenda includes specific policy briefs and recommendations for local, state, and federal agencies, calling on officials to address:

  1. Discriminatory policies and practices by local police, which enforce a pipeline to immigration detention and deportation;
  2. Intrusive data-sharing practices and advanced surveillance, which allow law and immigration enforcement agencies to share individuals’ personal data with little to no accountability; and
  3. Aggressive immigration enforcement, which continues to tangibly impact immigrants’ access to sensitive locations, regardless of ICE and DHS policies suggesting otherwise.

Undocumented immigrants and their families are increasingly driven into hiding by the threat of federal immigration authorities whose presence in our communities is made possible through arrangements with local law enforcement. Most importantly, we are recommending the Biden administration and federal agencies end the ICE detainer regime and other agreements that allow local assistance in federal immigration enforcement,” ACLU of Mississippi immigrants’ rights advocate, Delana Tavakol said.

The ACLU of Mississippi’s mission is to uplift the voices of those most affected by this reality through storytelling and advocacy to create a culture and policy landscape that puts public safety and community first.