Rio Grande Valley Immigration Humanitarian Crisis Response
Catholic Charities of the RGV http://www.catholiccharitiesrgv.org/

Rio Grande Valley Immigration Humanitarian Crisis Response

Refugees continue to arrive in growing numbers at the Humanitarian Respite Center at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas. In fact, this past week, the numbers doubled, with upwards of 150 people now arriving daily. So the need for volunteers and donations is growing!

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Federal officials investigate deportation of teen mom who attempted suicide
Lilian Oliva Bardales by Magdiel Correa Midence - McClatchy

Federal officials investigate deportation of teen mom who attempted suicide

Lilian Oliva Bardales, 19, was deported to Honduras six days after she shut herself in a bathroom of a Texas family detention center and cut her wrist. In her last week at the Karnes County Residential Center, she said she was taken from her young son, stripped naked in front of screaming staffers, put into isolation and then, back with her son, hidden at a hotel before being removed from the country.

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Lawyer threatened with contempt for leaking family detention documents

"Johnson, a former consultant to immigration attorneys negotiating with government officials on behalf of the detained mothers and children, was terminated from the role shortly after he leaked to McClatchy a copy of the court’s confidential draft ruling, which concluded that the Obama’s administration’s rapid increase of family detention centers violates parts of a 1997 settlement on migrant children."

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#FreedomNOTReform this July 2nd in LA!

"In the light of the 4th of July festivities, a day that allegedly represents “freedom” and “independence”, detained mothers and their children as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) immigrants unite to demand freedom for all detainees, as well as demand an end to family detention."

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Under pressure, Homeland Security announces changes to family detention policies
Jeh Johnson

Under pressure, Homeland Security announces changes to family detention policies

In a press released dated Wednesday, June 24, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced a few changes to ICE's policy on family detention. While stating that long-term detention practices will be ceased, family detention will continue along with the human rights abuses that remain a hallmark of corporate for-profit prison systems. For families affected by long-term detention, ransom (bond) will still be required in exchange for certain liberties.

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Parole RFI Families: National Organizational Sign On Letter

We, the undersigned, write to you with grave concern over the Administration’s current position to deny parole to all families who receive positive findings following the completion of a Reasonable Fear Interview (RFI) before the U.S. Asylum Office. We urge you to immediately reverse this policy and to grant parole for families once they successfully complete the RFI process and receive positive findings.

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Bring Ana’s sister back

We need your help. Our friend Ana is fighting to get her sister and 10-year-old nephew out of detention. After fleeing their home country for life-threatening reasons and seeking asylum in the United States, they have been in the Karnes Detention Center in Texas for over one year.

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Help Reunite a Family

y dear friend Alta Gracias has spent the past six months locked up in an immigration detention facility with her three small children, after fleeing her native El Salvador in search of an escape from the violence overrunning the country. She has finally made it through the first steps of the legal process for filing an asylum claim, and she and her children are being released to family on the East Coast.

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Call-in campaign to #EndFamilyDetention

We need the Department of Homeland Security to know we care about these families. Please call the DHS public comment line at 202-282-8495 and tell Secretary Jeh Johnson to stop locking up asylum seeking moms and kids. Please click on the image below and share with your social networks using #endfamilydetention.

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ACLU letter to ICE Director Sarah Saldaña

"We have also received reports that, in response to the protest, DHS Immigration Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) held several women alleged to have instigated the strike—and their children—in isolation in the Karnes medical infirmary and also threatened to separate the mothers from their children."

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Hunger strike is a conscience call to end family detention

This second phase of protest by a group of 15 -20 mothers comes on the heels of a Holy Week hunger strike in which they released a document signed by 74 women demanding their freedom and rebutting the argument being made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that they and their children are a threat to national security of the United States.

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Help Release Maria and her 3 kids

"From Pilgrims seeking freedom to practice their religion, to Jews feeling Nazism, to political prisoners escaping communism, America has been built on the promise that our country offers safe harbor…

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Tell ICE: Release Mothers On Hunger Strike At Texas Immigrant Detention Center

Women held in Texas Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) prison work for $3/day, their children's health is deteriorating, and many haven't been given the opportunity to post a reasonable bond for their release. Conditions have gotten so bad that 40 women began a hunger strike earlier this week. Many of these women fled to the United States because they feared for their lives. Now they, and even their children, are being put in solitary confinement cells in the medical wing of the prison for participating in the strike. The mothers are on their 5th day of not taking food and they need our support more than ever.

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The American Bar Association speaks out

"As President of the American Bar Association, I write to express the Association’s concerns about recent policies and practices that have significantly expanded immigration detention, particularly impacting women and children…

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Christian, Catholic, Lutheran, and Jewish leaders call for an end to detention of families

"As faith leaders representing churches, synagogues, and faith-based organizations in the United States who are deeply committed to upholding this country’s moral leadership to protect children and the sanctity of the family, we call on you to end the harsh policy of family detention and employ alternatives to detention where deemed necessary. We believe this practice to be inhumane and harmful to the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of this vulnerable population."

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Precarious lives: Central American families and the limits of U.S. immigration policy

In 2014, 60,000 children and mothers fled Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, seeking refuge in the U.S. because of gang threats, domestic violence, and child abuse in their countries. The Obama administration has responded by detaining these families in prison-like conditions for months, many times denying them release on bond and inhibiting their ability to apply for political asylum. A nationwide network of lawyers and activists is organizing to end this practice and to argue through legal representation that the women and children should be allowed to exercise their internationally recognized rights to live free from violence and persecution. Come and hear about this work through a transnational feminist lens.

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Letters from inside

The Letters From Inside archive is a digital collection of handwritten letters from mothers and children held inside the family prisons in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas. View the Letters…

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Mother and son (12)

February 28, 2015 Hello, My name is [redacted], and I came in 2007, but I was caught and was deported, but in that same year, 2007, I again came because…

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Mother and daughter

I arrived at this detention center on August 4, 2014. I already have bond for my daughter, and I haven’t been able to leave yet. I’m worried, because my daughter…

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Mother and son (1)

My name is [redacted] and I have a one year old son here where I am being detained for the past seven months. I was detained on July 30, 2014…

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Mother and daughter (7)

[redacted] A [redacted] [redacted] A [redacted] I entered the United States on July 28th, 2014. I was in the hielera for 9 days. On August 8, 2014 I arrived at…

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Mother and son (12)

I am in this institution asking for help because I can’t return to my country. I have been here since August 3, 3/8/2014. I need help because I am worried;…

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Mother (39) and daughter (2)

I am [redacted], [born in the] year [redacted], [in] El Salvador. My daughter [is] [redacted], of two and-a-half years [of age], A [redacted]. Through this letter I can say that…

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Mother (29) and daughter (2)

I am [redacted], number A [redacted], 29 years old, and I’m Brazilian. My daughter [redacted], number A [redacted], 2 years old is also Brazilian. I request assistance from the community…

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Polyane and her daughter

My name is Polyane Soares de Oliveira, 29 years old, number A 200-022-852, and I’m Brazilian. Here with me is my daughter Rhynasa Luisa Duarte, 10 years old, number A…

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Federal decision is not strong enough ; Reaffirm Commitment To Fight For Families detained in Karnes and Dilley (TX)

Interview with Diego Mancha during the press conference by groups that included Feminists Unite, SAIYM , Attorney Virginia Raymond in front of San Fernando Cathedral. This action was in response to the decision of the federal court (R.I.L.-R. versus Jeh Johnson) that goes against justification by DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to warehouse hundreds of children, women and families in detention centers as a way of deterring further migration. However, it is still not sufficiently strong enough to completely invalidate family detention.

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