Until today, I was mostly getting phone calls from women in Karnes and from family members around the country; texts from family members in Honduras. Today at 12:30, I received this e-mail:
Estamos detenidas en Karnes tenemos tres hijos cada una y tenemos tres meses de estar detenidas, teniamos abogados pero nos dejaron el caso mi nombre es María Dulce Mujer* numero de A 999 999 999. y Rosa de Janeth Sol* numero de A 111 111 111. YO MARIA YA TENGO LA RESPUESTA DE MI ENTREVISTA Y ME SALIO POSITIVO RAZONABLE , Y YO ROSA ME SALIO NEGATIVO PERO VOY A PASAR CON EL JUEZ QUE PRIMERO DIOS ME SALGA BIEN, ES POR ESO QUE NESESITAMOS UN ABOGADO QUE NOS AYUDE Y NOS REPRESENTE ANTE EL JUEZ, AUN NO TENEMOS FECHA DE CORTE PERO YA TENEMOS UN MES DE QUE NOS DIERON LA RESPUESTA DE LA ENTREVISTA, POR FAVOR CONTESTENOS A ESTA DIRERECCION CUALQUIER DECICION QUE TOMEN A NUESTRO CASO.
Breathless and urgent. Worried sick about the children, about each other. We all seem to be living without punctuation.
The Karnes Pro Bono Project — an informal creature, emerging out of crisis & chaos — is overwhelmed. Everyone involved has already reached their (our) limits. We are representing not only as many people as we can reasonably, effectively, and ethically represent — but to tell the truth, in some instances — more people than we can. All the efforts of the large law firms and the mid-size non-profit organizations and a handful of righteous clinical law professors and a few solo lawyers — are not even close to enough. And I do not see how I can humanly represent yet another family.
But there are new women and children arriving at Karnes, and they need and deserve our assistance, as well.
“This is completely unsustainable,” we all say.
And then someone will say, “And when they open Dilley…”
We’re plunged into gloom until someone says, “Let’s not even think about it.”
* not real names