Detainee Allies (reflection #2)

Detainee Allies (reflection #2)

At the last Monday night meeting I attended, I had such a big learning experience. As usual, as we stuffed envelopes to send out to our detained friends at Otay Mesa and Etowah, we also got to read through the incoming letters. As I was going through the letters, I came across a thick stack of papers (roughly 15 pages), which was unusual because the letters I have read this far have only been about 1-2 pages.

When I began to read the stack of papers, a ton of emotions hit me at once. One of our detained friends was writing to Detainee Allies to explain that the state has agreed to begin the immigration bond process for them. On top of that, they also sent the paperwork for the process, which included a transcription of the interview. While I was happy to hear that this person actually had the possibility of leaving the detention center, the interview record overwhelmed, angered and upset me. The questions asked in the interview did not seem fair to me; it required the interviewee to recall their trauma over and over again and to prove the situation they were fleeing, which was very difficult for the interviewee. Like Professor Swanson from SDSU said (the person I interviewed for my oral history project), “no one wants to leave home unless they have to.” I wish America could see that.

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