As posted on RAICES
Women in the Karnes Detention Camp are currently on a Holy Week Fast; the women decided to take this action to show the “world the desperation we are facing inside here.” The women taking part on this fast have endured months in detention have endured 5 to 10 months in detention.
Why are the Women Stuck in Detention?
The women taking part in this fast are all stuck in detention because ICE and DHS in Washington D.C. have refused to release them on discretion. This decision has been made directly by ICE director Sarah Saldaña; the decision to deny these women release is part of the Obama administration’s larger deterrence plan. These women are the victim of this plan, to make life so miserable for those fleeing violence in Central America that they actually self-deport.
What Authority does DHS / ICE have to Release the Women?
The decision to release these women can only come directly from ICE director Sarah Saldaña. The Director has the power to grant what is called Parole, or commonly referred to as a release on discretion. Further, local officials also have the power to release women on their discretion, however several local deportation officers have commented that “an order has come from the top not to release these women.”
The decision to grant Parole now squarely lies in the hands of ICE director Sarah Saldaña.
How Has ICE Responded to the Women on the Fast? Children in Solitary Confinement?!?
In response to their fast the women inside Karnes have been retaliated against. On Monday, three mothers and their children (10, 11 and 2) were placed into medical segregation, or what is in reality solitary confinement. The mothers report that this happened because ICE guards realized what they were planning. One of the mothers tells us her child and her were placed into a cell with a bed, toilet and a sink. She reports that the lights in the cell remained off and were only turned on when they were fed. In addition, all three women, reported that guards threatened to take away their kids from them should they start a fast.
Four days into this HolyWeekFast, ICE continues to deny that anyone is refusing to eat. Women inside the facility report that their ID cards are being scanned for them at each meal so that the system inside reflects that they are eating, when they in fact are not.
TAKE ACTION: What Can I Do to Help?
1. Sign the letter the women issued from detention:http://bit.ly/endkarnes
2. Make a Call to ICE in Washington D.C. at 202-732-3000202-732-3000 asking for the release of the women on Parole:
Sample Script: “Hi, I was calling in support of the women on a Holy Week Fast at the Karnes Family Detention Camp in Texas. I want to urge Director Sarah Saldaña to grant Parole to these mothers and to release them immediately. I do not know why we, as a country, are jailing young children. I urge that parole be granted immediately, and that these children and mothers be set free.”
2. Share the story of the women on social media with this sample tweet/post:
“.wwwicegov why are we jailing children and mothers? Release moms on #HolyWeekFast bit.ly/endkarnes #EndKarnes [email protected]”
3. Change your facebook cover image to the one on the TOP of this page.