Posted on May 4, 2018
Now that many of the members of the Refugee Caravan have requested asylum, and after a days-long standoff at the Tijuana port of entry have been accepted for processing of their asylum claims, nearly 200 members of the caravan are in or on their way to immigration detention centers. These fierce families are entering a constellation of abusive facilities, across the country, where migrants and refugees are isolated and punished for speaking out.
Members of the Refugee Caravan are especially vulnerable to retaliation, punitive separation of parents from their children, arbitrary drawn-out detention, and trumped-up criminal charges, since the president and attorney general have gone on the record stating they intend to publicly punish refugees for having the courage to organize openly in defense of their right to asylum.
Now, the families of the caravan have asked us to rise up and support their ability to maintain human connections to their family members, and keep lines of communication to their allies open in the event that they experience the retaliation, torture, or family separation that have been confronted by previous caravan members in US detention centers in the last year.
We also want to acknowledge that phone calls from detention facilities are exorbitantly expensive, because these facilities - both city/county jails and private prisons - contract with private telephone companies that then pay them a “commission” - essentially a kickback - that ranges from 15 percent to 60 percent. In the long run, we need to abolish these predatory jail phone contracts; in the short run, we need to make sure the refugee families’ voices can get to the outside.
Join us in donating $50 to sponsor a family’s phone account, so that we can continue to hear the voices of these powerful leaders in the migrant movement for human rights! We are looking for $5,000 to allocate $50 to each of the 100 families that are currently on their way to immigrant detention centers.