It didn’t take two weeks after The National Immigration Detention Hotline was featured on Orange is the New Black before it was shut down.
According to a statement with The Hollywood Reporter, attorney and co-founder and executive director for Freedom for Immigrants, Christina Fialho said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is behind the shut down of the hotline, which provides free legal assistance to people who are in immigration detention.
“ICE is attempting to silence its critics and block people in immigration detention from connecting with communities on the outside. It’s disappointing but not unexpected that Trump’s ICE would engage in such cruel and undemocratic behavior.”
Freedom for Immigrants’ national hotline director Cynthia Marlene Galaz also told The Hollywood Reporter, “It is concerning that ICE’s response to criticism is to block avenues of free and safe communication.”
The hotline has been shut down since August 7 after it was featured on the popular Netflix show in a storyline revolving around immigration detention centers. The show itself mirrors life when Selenis Leyva’s character Gloria Mendoza tells Diane Guerrero’s Maritza Ramos, “Apparently as soon as Big Brother figures out you’re using the hotline, they shut it down.”
Since the shutdown, Freedom for Immigrants has issued a cease and desist letter to ICE as of August 22, asking for the government organization to bring the hotline back. Actors and producers from Orange is the New Black also signed a letter of support along with Congress members and 121 other organizations.
Photo: JoJo Whilden / Netflix