We are failing.
Firsthand Account: I am home but my heart stays with the families I left behind and the frontline attorneys and volunteers who continue to serve them day after day. I still haven’t had the presence of mind to...
Written by Pamela Woldol
Day 6 – Dilley Detention Center
As we began to wind up our volunteer work at Dilley, we pondered whether the best way to fire the enthusiasm of potential volunteers was to warm their hearts with an inspirational success story or to chill them with some appalling...
Although spartan, the Southern Texas Family Residential Center – Dilley -- is clean, generally well-maintained, and the CoreCivic staff behave professionally. Given Dilley’s mission in the whole
But Dilley is only the second step in a
“She’s a little sick,” says Maria.
Welcome to the Ice Box
“It’s from when we were taken at the border (by Customs and Border Patrol, CBP) to a holding facility. First, all your own possessions are taken away.
“We got a little food twice a day, “she continued. “They only gave us two things. One was ramen noodles. The other was frozen ham sandwiches. They had a...
“The guards kept pressuring us to accept immediate deportation. Graciela and I were there two...
Going to the Dogs
Maria describes how she and her daughter were moved to a chain link cage located inside another building. About thirty other women and children were in the small area.
The guard ordered all of them to lie down and stay down. The mothers and all the children, too. No matter what their age, if a child sat up or stood up, or if they wiggled or if they cried,
The other 23 hours, they had to remain...
“A female guard walked by with an armful of shiny blankets. ‘These were supposedly meant for you,’ she said, ‘but I’m not going to give them to you. You should go back to your own country. You don’t deserve to be warm.’”
Although the scenery had changed, the
Many mothers tried to break off pieces of food and secret them in their clothing, hoping to be able to give their children a small snack during the long stretches between ”meals.” It didn’t work: the women were...
The Land Without Time
There were no windows in the Dog Cage, and the lights remained on 24 hours a day. When a woman would ask what time it was, she was told, “There is no time in here. You can keep asking but no one will tell you.”
A World of Animals
As our week at Dilley wore on and we inspired greater trust, woman after woman told us, “We don’t even treat our animals the way the guards treated us.”
Yes, It’s SOP
These stories do not depict isolated events or individual guards who
Catch 22: Even If You Win, You Lose
We volunteers got some good news at Dilley. Once refugees had been carefully prepared for their CFI hearings, over 95% were receiving positive results – meaning their fears of future persecution if they returned home
How many asylum applicants prevail at this level? At the moment, the DENIAL rates for...
These tales reflect both a pointless immigration policy and a monstrous political attitude. Here at Dilley, we listen to scores of stories like this and hang our heads in shame. Here...
After a week at Dilley, we don’t even try anymore. We let the tears come.
And so our final message to you from Dilley: Please, please help.”