In a recently released report by the CARA Pro Bono Family Detention project, many Central American mothers discuss the mistreatment they experienced while detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. NBC looks further in the actions of the immigration officials. Click here for the full story.
DILLEY, Texas -- Seven women picked up and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in early January in widely publicized raids have made a direct and personal appeal to President Barack Obama to allow their release while they pursue ongoing appeals of their deportation orders.
DILLEY, TX – In the last week, 121 mothers and children were brought to the South Texas Residential Family Center in Dilley, Texas, after being rounded up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project reviewed the cases of 13 families, filed appeals for 12, and won stays of removal from the Board of Immigration Appeals for all 12 families – 33 mothers and children.
“Welcome to the United States.” This is what refugees and asylum seekers should hear when they first arrive in the United States, but unfortunately it is a welcome that often comes excruciatingly late, if at all.
Twenty-eight years ago my mother fled her home in Nicaragua, a country embroiled in civil war. For years, her life and that of her family had been ravaged by a country with corrupt government officials and oppressed by a rebel group that brought nothing but violence to civilians like my parents. My mother saw family members and friends killed or forced to fight for a cause they did not believe in. At one point, she was taken hostage and held at gunpoint by militant groups and forced to drop out of school.
I had the opportunity to volunteer for a week with the CARA Pro Bono Project which provides legal assistance to women and children detained in the South Texas Family Detention Center. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) erected this facility last year in the desolate town of Dilley (population 3,674). It is managed and operated by a for-profit entity called Corrections Corporation of America.
More than 1,400 women and children—mostly from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala—are detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, TX. A significant number of these families come to the United States forced out of their communities by death threats, rape, extortion, or they are running away to keep their children from forced recruitment by the MS-13 or La 18 gangs.