Recent reports by the LA Illuminator and NBC News, shedding light on the horrific conditions in Louisiana's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, have deeply troubled the Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants (LORI). These conditions do not reflect who we are as a nation and the values we stand for. As such, LORI is urgently calling for an immediate and comprehensive investigation.
"These revelations expose an unacceptable reality," says Dauda Sesay, Founder and CEO of LORI. "People who come to our shores seeking safety, asylum, and a new beginning should never be subjected to such inhumanity. This is not who we are as a nation, and it certainly is not in line with the principles of humanity, dignity, and justice that we uphold."
The death of an immigrant in ICE detention after filing at least 29 grievances, underscores the urgency of this situation. "It is heartbreaking to learn about such avoidable tragedies. This individual sought refuge, yet found himself in a situation no one should ever have to experience," adds Sesay.
LORI, the only organization in Louisiana built and led by individuals with lived experience navigating these systems, implores the administration to undertake a full-scale investigation into the detention centers' reported death and egregious conditions. "Every grievance, every cry for help, must be heard and acted upon," insists Sesay.
We call upon our communities, other organizations, lawmakers, and individuals to join us in pushing for this investigation to ensure accountability. Furthermore, we urge the administration to establish humane and just policies that safeguard the rights and dignity of refugees and immigrants.
"LORI is committed to amplifying these voices and working with all stakeholders to address these grave concerns," says Sesay. "We must remember that these are people seeking safety and a better life. We owe them compassion, empathy, and urgent action."