Posted on December 14, 2017
The article by Yihwa Kim about her abuses by ICE before and during immigration detention has been published on TruthOut:
Please read and share, and contact KACEDA (Korean American Coalition to End Domestic Abuse) at kaceda.org/contact-us if you or someone you know has experienced something similar, or Survived And Punished Coalition at survivedandpunished.org/contact for resources and movement-building to support survivors in and out of incarceration and immigration detention.
Introduction to the TruthOut Op-Ed:
"Being Detained Feels Like the Abuse I Tried to Escape": A Korean Survivor Speaks Out From Immigration Detention
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Yihwa Kim is a Korean woman who fled her home country, South Korea, because of the extreme and prolonged domestic and sexual violence she suffered at the hands of her father and his various connections. She has been detained since April 2017 for seeking asylum in the United States. In November, her right to a bond hearing was denied by a judge who was a former prosecutor for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). During her hearing, this judge openly said that he sympathized with the prosecuting attorney for DHS and understood his position. With no end in sight to her detention -- which has resulted in further trauma, medical neglect and the deterioration of her health -- on December 1, Kim chose to withdraw her application for asylum in the US.
Within weeks, she will be forcibly returned to South Korea. At her December 1 hearing, she said: "Being forced to return to Korea is an act of suicide for me. But being imprisoned for another potential two or three years, like some others here ... and to get no help for my medical conditions while I am detained ... I don't think dying in here is right, either."
What follows is a translation of Kim's firsthand account of her ordeal in the US detention system.
Thank you for your support raising emergency funds for Yihwa's immediate use upon her forcible return to Korea, and ask that supporters and viewers of this page read, share, and take to heart the TruthOut article of her experience and criticism of the U.S. immigration detention system and ICE.
Yihwa herself has been determined to expose the injustices and abuse she suffered in ICE detention so that no one else has to go through what she has endured.
Please feel free to use the hashtags #YihwaKim #SupportYihwa #SurvivedAndPunished #MeToo #Not1More when sharing the article.
We also ask that instead of donating to this fundraiser (as the goal of $1,000 has already been met), could you please share and donate to the bail fund for 18-year-old Marlon Lopez fleeing violence in El Salvador?
His mother is a passionate organizer and member leader at KIWA (Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance), a Los Angeles-based non-profit that has been extremely supportive to Yihwa's case throughout her hearings, sending organizational endorsements to the immigration court, connecting us with a badly needed Korean-speaking lawyer, and organizing individual letter-writing sessions to send to Yihwa while she was detained.
Marlon was apprehended by ICE in Arizona, and his mother had to take out a large loan to cover his bail and travel expenses, and needs support in both repaying those costs and advocating for her son's political asylum so that they can stay together as a family.
FREE MARLON LOPEZ: Young Immigrant Seeking Asylum
Thank you for your outpouring of support,
Yihwa's Bay/LA Support Team
KACEDA (Korean American Coalition to End Domestic Abuse) at kaceda.org/contact-us