Ending isolation by visiting and supporting people detained by ICE
Conversations with Friends (CWF) is a dedicated, humanitarian, all-volunteer non-profit organization that visits, writes cards and letters to, and provides safe release and accompaniment to people in three of the four county jails where they are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Minnesota.
Why do we do what we do?:
- To accompany people who came to the U.S. to escape violence in their home countries, to make a living and/or to have educational opportunities for their children, people who have lived in the U.S. for a median of fifteen years (per Pew Research Center, 6/12/19), working, having families, establishing roots in their communities who now face deportation and possible permanent separation from their spouse, children, other family members and friends.
- To be present to people who, after having lived in the U.S. for a median of fifteen years, face the likelihood of returning to a country they no longer know where they may encounter violence and/or rejection.
- To let them know that they are not abandoned, not alone.
- To let them know that members of the community, people who were at first total strangers, truly care about them, their health and their safety.
- To affirm their humanity and dignity, listening intently and respecting.
- To provide emotional support and compassion.
- To provide hope in the basic goodness of humanity.
Quotes from people with whom we’ve visited and corresponded:
- “The books, letters, post cards have really shown me there are special people out there in my life that I never expected to touch me in my life.”
- “I thank you and all the people God brought into my life. God bless you all. I will never, never forget and cherish every communication we have had by the Grace of God.”