In the month of August, members of Monasteries of the Heart are encouraged to write letters and messages of support to people held in custody at Dilley Detention Center, the largest detention center for migrant and refugee families in the US. This initiative comes from the Leadership of Women Religious Immigration Coalition.
This month's Good Work
53 families detained in Dilley have been there for over 100 days, 35 of those have been there for over 300. They have waited out 3-10 months of depression, medical neglect, reheated food, nonexistent education, and the anxiety of an uncertain future, all just hoping for the chance to be safe in the United States. They have had to sue for their rights to a fair asylum process.
They are now watching guards come in to work after a weekend at the bars in one of the states hardest-hit by COVID-19. They have seen judge after judge decide they can't force ICE to release them. They are now preparing themselves to be asked if they want to send their children alone to sponsors, or keep them detained in a congregate setting where their growth has stunted, development has been repressed, and behavior has regressed-- and where coronavirus is slowly but surely spreading among the staff.
These 53 families have no idea what future is in store for them. They have loved to see themselves, their friends, and their advocates fighting for them in the news or protesting for their rights in Dilley. They would love to hear from people all over the country who are supporting them and rooting for them. That's why we're renewing our call for letters of encouragement for our detained families.
The vast majority of our families speak Spanish; we have one family each who speak Haitian, Creole, and Portuguese. If you're multilingual, please apportion your cards accordingly. Subject of the letters may include:
-your support for these plaintiffs
-your belief that they deserve justice
-your encouragement to fight for their own families and those that will come after them
-your best wishes/prayers/blessings for them
-your thanks for having the courage to stand up to a government doing everything it can to wear them down and get rid of them
-what you/ your family/ your friends/ your community/ your congresspeople have been doing to fight for them
Children are also welcome to send drawings. Unfortunately, due to STFRC rules, we cannot pass out any food or gifts of any kind, even stickers.
Please mail letters to:
C/o Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid
1111 N. Main Ave
San Antonio TX 78212