NEWS FOR June 27, 2015

Dear Friends,


As you are well aware, this has been an active week on the political scene; I do not want the immigration front to take a back seat.


(Nor do I view the matter of the incarceration of children in the United States to be a matter of politics.  Why politics do not matter?  Because the United States of America is "in the business of keeping children in jail!")


Why can this NOT take a back seat?  Because the United States of America is "in the business of keeping children in jail!"


(Remarks in red quotations are taken from the YouTube video below.)


House Democrats Recap Visit to Family Detention Facilities in Texas (click on blue to watch the video) is a 58:23 minute YouTube presentation summarizing the visits to Karnes and Dilley "prison camps" in Texas on Monday and Tuesday, June 22 and 23.


STOP what you are doing and listen to the video.  NOTHING can be more important.  I came into the office with a full agenda (and then some) like most of you.  But I STOPPED and watched this 58:23 YouTube.  It is THAT important.


I am not sure why it has taken United States leaders SO LONG to actually Visit the "inmates" at Karnes and Dilley, but I am glad that they finally did.

"Never seen anything like this....."

"Why aren't we outraged?"

"Completely transformative for me"

A young man released from Pearsall sits in the San Antonio bus station with his identification bracelet still wearing his identification bracelet

Perhaps it was this very visit by House Democrats that made OUR visit to Karnes yesterday a bit different than usual.  Four women attending a four day immersion/meeting of the NNIRR (National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights*) in South Texas hosted by the board chair, Eddie Canales, director of the South Texas Human Rights Center, were able to visit three women and their children at Karnes.

[Why was it different?  

1.  We intended to visit our usual 6 women and children.  Only three of these families were still incarcerated.  We met one of them at Casa Maria y Martha before we left there yesterday (TOTALLY a grace of God experience!**).  (They were released on a $7,500 bond that the mother does not know who paid).  We found that one family was no longer being held. The third family was being placed on the bus to go to the San Antonio bus station as we were standing in the lobby.

2.  We watched another mother and child leave carrying three small bags of stuff and a large brand new toy.  They were greeted by a family member in the lobby.

3.  Our visitors were allowed to meet two-on-one.  That is, two visitors for one family.  This has not been permitted previously.

4.  The icy woman in charge of the visitation room was far less icy.]

"Heartbreaking and painful"

"They haven't committed a crime!"

"Because of this trip...."

Trust me.  We WON'T GET IT until we see it for ourselves.  THEY DIDN'T get it until they saw it for themselves.  YOU won't GET IT until you see if for yourself.  

Children playing outside at an alternative detainee center

How will history judge the United States of America for incarcerating children whose parents are following international law?

How will God judge anyone who is doing something to harm these children? How will God judge anyone who is doing nothing to help these children?

WHAT (specifically and exactly) is holding YOU  back?  If nothing else be informed.   STOP and hear the YouTube video (in blue above).  WHAT (exactly and specifically) is being asked of YOU?  What are YOU CALLED to do?  Today.  Only you can answer the question.

If nothing else, be informed.  May I suggest the following reading:

Drug War Capitalism by Dawn Paley (even just read the introduction)

Searching for Everardo by Jennifer Harbury

For-Profit Family Detention (16 page pamphlet) published by Grassroots Leadership

Treatment Industrial Complex:  How For-Profit Prison Corporations are Undermining Efforts to Treat and Rehabilitate Prisoners for Corporate Gain published by Grassroots Leadership

Unaccompanied Migrant Children from Central America published by the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies

"I'm a dad...."

"Irrational and arbitrary system"

"Video does not reflect the tears and anguish of the moms and dads."

Please turn off the television and watch the YouTube (in blue above). What was most surprising to me about the House Democrat visits were that they seemed to see the REAL situations and were able to talk freely with the mothers and children, that they were allowed to take pictures, that there was some measure of REAL transparency.  This time there was no cover up.

SO much more to share and so little time!!!

Thank you for your support and prayers!
Sr. Pam

To educate about the reality of the South Texas border and the people affected by border policies and practices, the STHRC has begun to organize immersion experiences.  To participate in an 8-day hands-on border immersion experience (Sunday to Sunday) of four persons, contact me at pbuganski@yahoo.com.  


Remember that clicking on blue letters will give further information.