The pre-election fear-mongering about the #CaravanaMigrante may be over, but there are still thousands seeking asylum in the US.
They all have the right to a fair hearing, so we’re in Mexico hearing stories & cases. Protection from violence is a right, & we will defend it.
Much of the caravan is in Mexico City, where a stadium complex is now home to thousands. Families are living in large tents, getting three meals a day, vaccinations, clothes, haircuts, “know your rights” trainings, etc. Kids are entertained by aid workers dressed as clowns.
People drop off supplies all day long, some Mexico City residents have even set up a tortilla station, cooking for those in the stadium. “They’re all our brothers,” said one woman kneading dough. They’re helping, she said, b/c “we could be in their spot at any time.”
The Trump administration has been mass releasing people from immigration detention centers in an effort to increase fear before the election, creating an artificial strain on our shelter system, which is struggling to handle new releases.
Our staff was at the San Antonio bus station until midnight last night, where we met 20 people who’d been released from detention centers. Because they missed the last bus and the local shelters were full, they spent the night at the station.
Today, we helped these over 120 people get on buses.
We are doing our part by helping with transportation & booking flights for families. We helped book flights earlier this summer, spending over $500k to reunite people released from detention centers with their families.
The gov't announced a plan to mass release families from detention centers. For months they’ve kept families for longer than the 20 days they are legally allowed, but now, they are suddenly mass releasing THOUSANDS with NO plans to ensure their safety.
This timing isn’t a coincidence.The midterms are around the corner but there is no time for distraction. We must do EVERYTHING we can to be there for these people.
This is going to take ALL of us.
The U.S. gov’t did this before. In 2016, ICE released 500 people to the streets of San Antonio. We were there and within days we got hundreds of people on buses, planes and into safe houses.
1. Right now the family detention center in Karnes is a population of imprisoned reunified dads & their children. Many of these dads were tricked into signing deportation agreements in English that @ICEgov told them were reunification papers. #DadsDemandJustice#KarnesStrike
@ICEgov 2. RAICES has confirmed that 16 of our clients were forcibly re-separated from their kids at Karnes & sent to the South TX Detention Complex in Pearsall, TX by armed ICE officers. The 16 dads spent the night in Pearsall, their kids left behind. #DadsDemandJustice#KarnesStrike
3. A RAICES attorney asked why our clients were transferred & ICE referenced "disruptive behavior" causing "safety concerns.” @ICEgov said the dads didn't want to "go w/ the flow," & that this included behavior like "not wanting to participate in activities." #KarnesStrike
1/3 This morning our staff & pro bono attorneys arrived at the Karnes detention center to meet with clients and were told they couldn’t meet with anyone as Karnes was empty. Around 3:45pm two of our pro bono attorneys watched as a bus was loaded at Karnes w/ mothers & children
2/3 Having been lied to all day, they decided to follow the bus from Karnes to see where they were being transferred to. An hour in to the drive they call our Comms Director @JenniferKFalcon to let her know they had been pulled over by 3 state troopers in SUV’s for “illegally”
2/3 following the bus and demanded to see their client lists. They were held for 15 minutes by police, and now continue to follow the bus which looks to be headed to Dilley detention center.
Remember this: Children with representation are 5 times more likely to be successful in their case than children who go to court alone. Representation is often the last line of safety for children vulnerable to exploitation by both a system and a country hostile to their presence
Through our work with unaccompanied children, RAICES stands in these spaces where children are alone as their advocates and we witness the trauma and injustice of hundreds of children being taken from their families.
Simply, children are being taken from their families...
... put into a system not equipped to ensure their safety, & lose access to the representation designed to be their safeguard through this process.
RAICES has seen hundreds of children taken from their families in the last 18 months.
Friends, the family separation + family detention ramp up is best explained by the Overton window concept. Make things really really horrible and then the just horrible will seem OK. #EndFamilyDetention
The #SingleStagingArea explicitly includes the idea of detaining the families together. Please listen to the advocates and communities who have been fighting to keep families together AND reunifying families for years. We’re not new at this.
If you are new to these issues, please pay attention to who is pushing the ideas. People who have an intimate knowledge of the history and booby traps of the system or people who just noticed?
Dad was detained in a #Texas detention center where @RAICESTEXAS consulted. Dad accepted a deportation to be quickly reunited w/ his infant child. However, the Dad was deported & NOT his child. The now 8-month-old baby has been in ORR custody for 4 months. #EndFamilySeparation