When one of our immigrant friends in a letter or during one of our Zoom visits notes, “I’m not going to see my wife and kids. I’m going to be completely separated from my loved ones. This is so cruel,” we’re able to say, “Yes, you’re right, it’s cruel. Deportation from home, family and community should not be an acceptable, allowable form of punishment. It is shameful and wrong.”
When someone says, “I won my immigration case, but I’m stuck in jail because the government appealed. That’s so unjust,” we’re able to say, “Yes, it is unjust and inhumane. You should be able to return to your home and family rather than remain jailed for another six months or so while the government’s appeal is decided by the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals).”
When someone says, “Why can’t I bond out? I served my criminal sentence. Then, I was just about to be released on probation but ICE took me into custody. When I went to my immigration hearing I was told that I don’t qualify for bond because I’m a danger to the community and a flight risk. But I was freed on probation after my crime, so that court determined I’m not a danger or a flight risk. Why does the immigration judge think I am? It makes no sense.” We can say “You’re right. It makes absolutely no sense.”
People jailed by ICE, who are trying to navigate a complex, inhumane immigration system, need to be affirmed. They need to know that we see their humanity and hear their pain. They need to know that we agree that they’re being treated unjustly and inhumanely, and that we truly care about them.
Steve Kraemer, CWF Exec. Director, 1/15/22
From the 1/15/22 CWF Newsletter