Until recently, the Berks County Residential Center was one such immigration prison operating in Pennsylvania.
For nearly a decade, immigrant leaders fought to expose the inhumanity and injustice of the BCRC, including its notorious history of abuse. On Dec. 1, 2022, immigrants and families formerly detained at the facility celebrated a historic victory. After years of local campaigning to close the detention center, ICE informed Berks officials that their contract with the county would be ending the following month. The community’s rallying call to “Shut Down Berks” had finally come to fruition.
BSU is working to change the building to a shelter for unhoused youth with support from current elected representatives.