Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shut down a toll-free hotline for detained immigrants which allows them to connect with a lawyer after this was featured on the series “Orange Is The New Black.”
This hotline operated for several years by the Freedom for Immigrants organization before it was shut down after it was mentioned on the show.
Christina Fialho, co-executive director of Freedom for Immigrants, stated:
“Even a freely given benefit such as the pro bono hotline can’t be taken away simply because the government is now unhappy with how we are sharing with the public what we know from our communications with people inside,” she said.
These hotlines were the only toll-free option that many immigrants in the detention facilities relied on because they do not have the right to a free phone call and the facilities do not allow calls to 1-800 numbers.
Some of the cast members of “Orange Is the New Black” are against this and request that ICE restores the hotline.
“Now we see life mimic art in the most destructive way,” Laura Gomez, the actress that plays Blanca on the show, stated. “I wish this were more of a fictional situation and we were exaggerating reality, but it’s kind of the other way around,” she added.