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Campaign to Shut Down Berks Detention Center, End Family Detention Receives Boost From Senator Sanders

Make The Road PA, Center for Popular Democracy applaud Senator for strong stance


NEW YORK – Make The Road Pennsylvania (MRPA) and Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) applauded Bernie Sanders for reiterating his opposition to family detention and supporting the shutdown of the Berks Country Family Detention Center, which has come under fire in the past year for a slew of human rights abuses. MRPA has participated actively in the Shut Down Berks Coalition, which successfully convinced the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to revoke the Center’s license earlier this year. Groups across Pennsylvania have called for the immediate shutdown of the Center.

Senator Sanders made his comments at a town hall in Reading, Pennsylvania, saying, “The government should not be in the painful and inhumane business of locking up families who have fled unspeakable violence in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and other countries throughout the world. Instead, we should treat these families with the compassion, the dignity and the respect they deserve."

Adanjesus Marín, Make the Road Pennsylvania State Director, released the following statement:

“Our country’s brutal treatment of immigrants has come under the microscope during this past year, and rightly so. The conditions many immigrants must face should shock the conscience of every American."

Claudia Sanchez, Make The Road Pennsylvania Member Leader, also released a statement:

“We are glad Bernie Sanders recognizes the injustice inherent in our country’s immigration policies and hope he will continue to agitate for meaningful reform.”

Shena Elrington, Director of Immigrant Rights & Racial Justice at Center for Popular Democracy, also released a statement:

“As it becomes increasingly clear that our immigration policy is not just broken, but actively abusive, it is heartening to see the Sanders campaign embrace a better path forward. A country built on immigration must treat all immigrants with respect, and we will continue to push for policies that protect those seeking a new life in this country.”



The Center for Popular Democracy promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with innovative base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial justice agenda


Make the Road Pennsylvania organizes low-income and working class Latino immigrants in Lehigh and Berks Counties to fight for change in their communities.



Adanjesus Marín, adanjesus.marin@maketheroadpa.org, 814-571-9614

Asya Pikovsky, apikovsky@populardemocracy.org, 207-522-2442

Anita Jain, ajain@populardemocracy.org, 347-636-9761