InAlienable is the name the Quixote Center has chosen for our work to counter efforts to cast the neighbor as “alien.” We envision a society in which no one is alienated from his/her basic rights or from one another. The current United States criminal justice system and immigration policies both seek to cast our neighbor as “the other” and proceed to use this “othering” to monetize the suffering they cause. Building on the Center’s history of working for criminal justice reform, we seek systems based on restoration rather than retribution and on inclusion rather than exclusion and incarceration. To remove the profit motive inherent in our current systems, we seek to end all programs that allow companies to profit from the lost liberty of our neighbors.
The program’s current focus is on the intersections of immigration policy and mass incarceration, calling out policies and tactics that aim to dehumanize, and exposing those poised to profit from the “othering” of the neighbor.
It is this “othering” that inspired our program name. We adopt the term INALIENABLE not only to recall those rights with which ALL people are “endowed by their Creator” but also as a protest against the concept of “the alien” itself. As fellow-creatures, we cannot be made alien to one another:
Current initiatives focus on immigrant detention and the policing of the border in response to the chilling trends we see under the Trump administration, since we are committed to the belief that all people entitled to pursue a life of freedom and dignity – no matter where they are from.
We research and write about incarceration, uncovering the connections between for profit corporations and immigrant detention.
We offer news alerts, research, analysis, satire, and calls for action on our blog, “InAlienable Writes.”
We are in the process of compiling a list of accompaniment, sanctuary, and related programs around the country that we will make available as an interactive map [coming soon]. We will also offer tools, tips, and resources to help you mobilize in your community. (Have a program for us to add to the map? Tell us about it here.)
We work on public policy with the goal of creating a more humane system built on alternatives to any form of incarceration or monitoring.
Quixote Center staff also work with individuals caught up in the system, offering accompaniment to appointments with ICE and other agencies in collaboration with other D.C. area programs.
InAlienable builds on 40 years of work at the Quixote Center in naming injustice, international solidarity, and efforts to improve the justice system. Some of the social justice projects that grew out of work done at the Quixote Center include: Christic Institute (public interest law), EJUSA (Equal Justice USA, campaign to end the death penalty), and the Grassroots Investigation Project. Additionally, the Quixote Center has produced the Capital Defense Handbook and supported DC Books to Prisons.
The Quixote Center has stood in solidarity with partner organizations in Nicaragua since 1983 (Quest for Peace) and in Haiti since 1991 (Haiti Reborn). Work with both countries has led to our advocacy on immigration, including efforts to renew Temporary Protected Status, speaking out about the detention of Haitians, and conditions at the Krome Detention Center in Miami.