Published: Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017
October 3, 2017
Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR
212.255.2575 /

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) and Adam Smith (D-Washington) announced the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act. The bill would reform the immigration detention system by ending use of private facilities, and repealing mandatory detention while increasing oversight, accountability and transparency in the immigration detention system.

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in endorsement of the bill:

“National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) proudly supports the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act. The bill makes it more difficult to detain people by creating a presumption of release rather than detention. This bill protects primary caregivers and vulnerable populations, including pregnant women, survivors of sexual violence and folks who pass their credible fear interview to determine if they have legitimate safety concerns to seek asylum.

“We endorse Reps. Jayapal and Smith’s efforts to not only increase transparency in the criminal justice system, but also improve the standards for medical care and basic living conditions at detention centers. The current poor conditions specifically harm women, women of color and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) immigrants, who are marginalized by gender-based violence and restricted by unique health concerns.

“With an included requirement for the Department of Homeland Security to promulgate legally-enforceable civil detention standard, we believe that women’s health issues and access to women’s hygiene products would be addressed.

“This bill would raise the disgustingly low standards at detention standards that dehumanize the immigrant community. It is time that we recognize these human rights violations and treat undocumented people with basic respect.”


The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls.