I interviewed Raj Chetty on May 13, 2020. Raj Chetty is currently a professor at San Diego State University in the English and Comparative Literature Department. In the interview, we discussed his personal experience with having a family friend being detained by ICE which is what propelled him to get involved with Allies to End Detention. This interview was conducted through Zoom during the Covid-19 pandemic which shifted the focus of this project from interviewing the detainees of Otay Mesa to interviewing the individuals within the organization. Chetty is motivated to end deportation and free as many detainees as possible. Chetty wanted to share pa’lanteRead More →

“Use your imagination; Organize, organize, organize; consistency.” We write letters to share a piece of ourselves with others. Depending on the information, we are able to share with people a side of ourselves that no one knew. Language is important. When you speak the common language, you are communicating to people. When you speak the language they were raised in, you are speaking to their heart. As Detainee Allies receives more than 80 letters on a weekly basis, each letter is a connection to a human being. Each human being is sharing who they are with us. My experience with Detainee Allies has changed theRead More →

Chicanx Park as a whole does not end at the border where the grass field and cemented sidewalk meet, but rather the park is incorporated into the fabric of the community. Chicanx Park is a reflection of the community. Originally planned to be a CHP Control Center, the community of Barrio Logan resisted this plan and reclaimed their land by protesting to stop construction from going further. Walking within Chicanx Park, seeing all the murals, gave me a deeper understanding of the power of murals to tell a story. Each pillar in Chicanx Park that sustains the Coronado bridge reminds the community of city governmentRead More →

The drive from UC San Diego to Detainee Allies with my group mates allow for a long conversation about our well-being, reflecting on the quarter so far, and preparing our minds for what we may read by ending in silence. I must give myself time to meditate. Most of the letters we read describe their personal situation; in need of money, resources, missing their family, feeling alone. However, all the letters have two bits of information in common, which is their name and A#. The detention centers gives these people a number they possibly will never forget. This number is engraved into their brain, justRead More →