Founder of Freedom for Immigrants (formerly CIVIC)
2012 Global Fellow
At this very moment, more than 32,000 men, women, and children are detained by the U.S. government in jails and prisons for not having proper documentation. While lacking papers is not a crime, immigrants are often imprisoned for months–sometimes years–with little connection to the outside world. While over 80 percent of detained immigrants are unrepresented by legal counsel, many also are denied access to family and community support. Freedom for Immigrants ends the isolation and abuse of persons in immigration detention by building and strengthening community visitation programs across the United States.
Christina Mansfield is an activist for social justice, a scholar, and the granddaughter of immigrants. Her community-based and academic work is focused on immigrant rights and alliance building. In 2010, Christina co-founded Detention Dialogues, the first immigration detention visitation and community awareness organization in California. Her vision for Detention Dialogues and Freedom for Immigrants is shaped by her academic research on the criminalization of immigrant communities and her desire to apply this knowledge to social justice initiatives.