Monday, July 27, 2015

Texas for International Justice Day 国際ジャスティス・ディー(難民申告者を解放すべき)

Well, in case you were wondering where I went, I was away in Dilley, Texas last week. 先週は南テキサス州ディリー市(市とゆうても南テキサスのちいさな村なとこです。)でボランティア活動をしてました。

There is a "family" detention center at Dilley for asylum seekers that houses only women and children. These are immigrants mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who are trying to escape gangs that are in control of their hometowns and have targeted them and their children for various reasons. When they reach the U.S., they are being rounded up and detained (here is a LA Times article about the center: "Immigrant families in detention: A look inside one holding center". Recently it's gotten a bit of media and political attention. Here is an article about the group I went with, although I reject the bit that the transactional lawyers didn't know asylum jargon(!): Immigrant lawyers handling a border surge: 'This is really an emergency room situation'). So, I volunteered there last week, mostly hearing people's stories to see if they will be able to pass a credible fear hearing -- this is different from an asylum hearing, but is basically the first step in a long road to asylum or withholding of removal.


Now, I am honestly not the most lenient in my views on immigration. However, I do not believe it is correct to lock up women and children asylum seekers. These women and children have been through so much in their own hometowns, as well as even more hardships, including rape and exploitation, on the way here. Additionally, I have found that most asylum seekers feel emotional attachment to the places they are from, and I honestly believe that if conditions weren't horrible in their respect countries of origin they would be happiest in those countries.

Well, I started writing this when I arrived in Dilley two weeks ago. My last day there was International Justice Day. I didn't actually know about International Justice Day, but it seemed so perfect to learn about it while in Dilley. Happy Belated International Justice Day, y'all.



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