Immigrants serenade ICE detainees at Essex County jail 

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Chorus grows for immediate release of Essex county Dover resident Jose Velasquez who was beaten & sexually assaulted by jail officials 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 

 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

Essex County Detention Facility 

354 Doremus Ave, Newark, NJ 07105

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Newark, NJ -  Immigrant justice advocates and local residents will be joined by the Jornaleros del Norte (day laborer band) to protest Essex County’s hosting detainees for federal immigration enforcement (ICE), in response to egregious allegations of abuse, and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) findings of unsanitary, inhumane and unsafe conditions at the jail.

On Wednesday September 25, 2019 at 7:00PM, Jose Velasquez’ hometown friends will join immigrant activists and the band Jornaleros del Norte, to serenade Hernandez and all those incarcerated at the jail. The Jornaleros del Norte band is famous for their lyrics about the effects of family separation, immigrant detention, and deportation.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the Essex County correction officers’ alleged beating and sexual assault of Jose Hernandez Velasquez.  A 20-year-old resident of the town of Dover, Jose Velasquez was born in El Salvador but has lived in New Jersey since he was one-year-old.  Despite the serious nature of the abuse against him, Jose Hernandez Velasquez continues in ICE custody at the Essex County Jail,  facing deportation due to a series of low-level offenses. He is a graduate of Dover High School and a resident of the town of Dover, located in Morris County, New Jersey.

Essex county rally

Jose’s family is an example of a mixed-status immigrant family.  While Jose Velasquez currently is undocumented, his parents have Temporary Protected Status (TPS).  Although their status too is now being targeted by the Trump administration.

DHS identified the conditions at Essex County among the worst of all the detention centers in the United States.  Essex County collects nearly $50 million per year from their contract to jail immigrants in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Hernadez Velasquez is one of a thousand immigrants incarcerated each month at the Essex County Correctional Facility.

“I was detained by ICE here for four months and it was the worst experience of my life.   I witnessed injustices when I was there,” said Dover resident Geovanny Soto. “Thankfully, I am now a U.S. citizen, but this abuse against immigrants has to stop.”


Press Conference to bring Jose back home and Serenade against deportations and detentions at Essex County Detention Center.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

7 PM – 9 PM EDT


Essex Detention Center

354 Doremus Ave, Newark, NJ 07105


  • Local residents, immigrant workers and family members, individuals directly-impacted by immigration enforcement
  • Community and civil rights organizations, including Wind of the Spirit, New Labor, Casa Freehold, Lazos, Unidad Latina en Acción NJ, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)

NDLON improves the lives of day laborers, migrants, and low-wage workers. We build leadership and power among those facing injustice so they can challenge inequality and expand labor, civil and political rights for all.


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