Diapers in Detention

August 22, 2016
Posted by: Wilma Shuffitt

Diapers in Detention

Actions You Can Take To Protect Children in Detention

About Diapers in Detention:

RIM Diapers in Detention

Family detention is the incarceration of asylum-seeking mothers and children, mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. There are three such facilities in the United States, in Berks County, Pennsylvania; Karnes City and Dilley, Texas. These “baby jails” feature prison-like portable units equipped with multiple bunk beds, heavy iron doors, and are surrounded by fencing. Imagine being an infant or child who spends a month being carried by your frightened mother across several countries in an arduous search for safety in a new land, only to spend part of your childhood in jail; stripped of possessions like baby blankets and binkies, cut off from all relatives but your mother and young siblings. We want to end family detention and ensure that families are kept together. To let ICE know what people think about family detention, we’ve arranged ways for people like you to participate across the country. Whether you want to help us arrange a “baby shower” at an ICE field office or send a card of concern to the Director of ICE, we have a way for you to stand up for these children.


  1. Arrange a “Baby Shower” at a Nearby ICE Office:

Help us arrange a “baby shower”—complete with balloons and shower-related items—at local ICE offices and detention facilities across the country Aug. 29-Sept. 1 (or anytime thru September!) to raise awareness that children and infants SHOULD NOT be in detention! These peaceful demonstrations will help alert the public that ICE is holding infants in their detention centers. Join our Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/diapersindetention to meet with people in your area. Go to cliniclegal.org/DiapersInDetention to see resources, and especially to find info about events already scheduled in San Antonio, Houston, Omaha, Boston, Baltimore, and Corpus Christi.  Also, let us know if you’re willing to help with an event in Phoenix!! Recommendations for your event:RIM Diapers in Detention Take Action

  1. Use the script provided in this toolkit to approach your local ICE office of immigrant detention facility. Always be considerate and polite in your communications.
  2. Alert your local media. Use the press statement provided in this toolkit to let local newspapers, TV stations and radio stations know you are going to be acting and when you will be doing this.
  3. Think about what will be visible on camera. If your local media comes to cover your event, you will want to give them a good show. Some ideas: wrap baby goods with big bows, carry balloons, bring signs or giant baby shower cards, carry crosses or images of Mary and baby Jesus.
  4. Alert your local representative. Your representative will likely be home during this week as Congress will be out of session. Invite them to speak at your event or ask them to make a statement about family detention.

ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Offices are located in the cities on the map below:

RIM Diapers in Detention MapTo sign up to “throw a baby shower” at a local office, contact: 

Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries, 5 Thomas Circle NW, Washington, DC sstanley@dhm.disciples.org, or 202-957-7826!

OR, if you don’t live near to a local ICE Office, or can’t help with a baby shower, you can:

  1. Send a Card of Concern:

If you are not near one of the ICE offices or a family detention facility, pick up a baby shower card at the drugstore, write a message that says “As a person of faith, I ask you to end family detention. No more diapers in detention!” and send it to:  Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C. 20528. Before you drop it in the mailbox, take a picture of it and tag it on social media with #DiapersInDetention to spread the word about this issue. You could also consider hosting a card writing party. Invite your friends and coworkers to fill out cards with you. Take pictures of the cards you are making and post them on social media with the hashtag #DiapersInDetention.

III.  Send an Email to Your Nearest ICE Office:

Take a minute and send an email to your local ICE office at cliniclegal.org/DiapersInDetention. We want local ICE offices to know what constituents in their area think.

  1. Send a Letter to the Editor to Your Local Paper

Send a letter to the editor to your local paper, especially if you live in a city with an ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office or a detention center. We’ve prepared sample text in this toolkit. Send a letter to the editor to your local newspaper at fcnl.org/endfamilydetention.

RIM Diapers in Detention greet


For more information, contact:
Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director
Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries
202-957-7826 (cell)