Our amazing team took to our communities once more this past weekend to conduct Day Laborer Outreach! We are so excited to be back and show our day laborers some love and support, and remind them how important they are in our community, especially in our current state of the world. Like the rest of our programs, we are always concerned with the safety of our migrant community first. We applied the practices of social distancing and used a team of only experienced leaders to ensure we help our day laborers, but we don’t expose such a valuable and important population. A huge thank you to Osvaldo and the team for his leadership and commitment, in not only putting together care packages, but acknowledging and respecting our laborers stories and importance in our community!
This week we had the honor to collaborate with Freedom for Immigrants, and together, we were able to bond two more individuals from Eritrea out of the Otay Mesa Detention Center through our Familias Reunidas Bond Program. We are proud to work alongside organizations that share our values, and promote a culture of love as we do. We are also proud to have now freed over 30 people from detention!
Tesfay and Isaias were both released together the same day, and the fellow countrymen are excited to begin their new life in Oakland surrounded by a community that supports them! The two asylum seekers are so happy and thankful to be free after having spent four months in detention. Their spirits and positivity prove to us the resilience and strength of our beloved immigrant community. We celebrate this as a huge victory amidst such trying times, and we are hopeful to continue getting more and more people released. Every day spent inside the Otay Mesa Detention Center is one day too many!
Let their stories serve as a reminder of all the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and community members waiting in such conditions in detention, simply for seeking a place or a part in this country. Tesfay an Isaias represent so many others being subject to racist and inhumane policies, and we must not forget the urgency of getting everyone we can out of the Otay Mesa Detention Center. This pandemic continues to be unforgiving, and we will not allow any more lives lost. Again, we thank you for your support and ask you to continue to help us make sure our folks are #FreeAndAlive.
We are excited to excited share with you another story and most recent recipient of our bond program, Asim. Asim is an asylum-seeker from the country of Sudan and came to the US in hopes of a better life like so many others. While in the Otay Mesa Detention Center, his pod was isolated due to someone becoming ill, thankfully he was one of the lucky ones not contracting COVID-19.
Inside the detention center, Asim, being one of the few English speakers, selflessly helped many other asylum-seekers contact organizations on the outside to ensure their release. Two of our bond recipients from Cameroon, in fact, were referred to us through his kind work. Despite the horrible and terrifying conditions he was exposed to, Asim always remained positive and patient. It’s people like him that keep us going, and inspire us to continue our work through his bravery. Asim is finally on his way to start his new life and be reunited with his family. Although it pains us our folks are being treated so unjustly, these stories reminds us of the strength and resilience of our migrant folks. They deserve dignity and respect, and not a country that subjects black and brown folks to such conditions during a global pandemic.
Let this story serve as a reminder of all the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and community members waiting in such conditions in detention, simply for seeking a place or a part in this country. Asim represents so many others being subject to racist and inhumane policies, and we must not forget the urgency of getting everyone we can out of the Otay Mesa Detention Center. This pandemic continues to be unforgiving, and we will not allow any more lives lost. Again, we thank you for your support and ask you to continue to help us make sure our folks are #FreeAndAlive.
Today, we share with you the story of the most recent recipient of our bond program, Jack. Five months after being detained, this 25 year old migrant is finally out of the horrific conditions of detention. Jack fled his home country of Haiti in hopes of a better life and opportunity only to end up at the nightmare that is the Otay Mesa Detention Center.
Inside the detention center, the very place where Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia unjustly lost his life, Jack contracted COVID-19. He became very ill and faced a very severe case of coronavirus, and yet all that was done for him was to be put in isolation, and given crackers by an officer. Thankfully our recipient has made a recovery and is able to self quarantine now. Although heart wrenching, this story reminds us of the strength and resilience of our migrant folks, and deserves to be shared to shed light on how brown and black people are being treated so unjustly during a pandemic.
Let this story serve as a reminder of all the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and community members waiting in such conditions in detention, simply for seeking a place or a part in this country. Jack represents so many others being subject to racist and inhumane policies, and we must not forget the urgency of getting everyone we can out of the Otay Mesa Detention Center. This pandemic continues to be unforgiving, and we will not allow any more lives lost. Again, we thank you for your support and ask you to continue to help us make sure our folks are #FreeAndAlive.
As previously mentioned, our Board President and Executive Director are proud members of the San Diego Regional Hate Crimes Coalition. This coalition is a collaboration of non-governmental organizations, community-based groups, and public servants. They coordinate outreach, education, and dialogue regarding bullying, hate incidents, and hate crimes in the San Diego Region. The goal is the prevention of hate in the San Diego area through collaboration and collective understanding of our individual missions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in fear, uncertainty, and concern for the security of our health, finances and liberties. Historically, these conditions have led many to look for someone to blame, demonize, and scapegoat.
Not only that, but with the killing of George Floyd, repeated police brutality, and murder of Ahmud it is extremely important we continue to fight and raise our voices and never let fear lead us to intimidate, threaten, or harm other simply because of their identity.
Help contribute to our dialogue by signing up at sdnohate.org
Today we remember two lives lost at the hands of immigration detention and apprehension.
We remember the life of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, who was murdered 10 years ago. Anastasio was brutally beaten, tased, and ultimately murdered at the hands of Border Patrol, none of which were held accountable. Despite having video footage and witnesses, justice was not served for his family and community.
We also remember the life of Santiago Baten-Oxaj, the 34-year old Guatemalan man who lost his life in a Georgia detention center due to Covid-19. Santiago is the fourth known death at the hands of detention during this pandemic. He perished after being held at a private for-profit facility, another death that was entirely preventable.
It is important we remember and continue to demand justice for those who have been marginalized, criminalized, and prosecuted due to racist policies and ideologies. We urge everyone to pay attention how all of these lives are connected. We cannot turn a blind eye to the people being put directly at risk to COVID-19 in detention, and we cannot look away when individuals lose their lives at the hands of law enforcement. We saw it 10 years ago with Anastasio, and we saw it again days ago with George Floyd and Santiago. We refuse to let any of these individuals become a statistic, we will continue to speak out against hate and brutality.
We are so excited to share some amazing news going into the weekend! Border Angels has posted it’s 25th bond today! That means we have reunited 25 sons, daughter,sisters, brother, mothers, fathers, husbands and wives. We cannot thank you enough for your amazing support and donations. Thank you to everyone who has supported our fund, shared our link, and brought attention to our noble cause. We share a small hope and huge victory with you all and urge you to help us keep the momentum going. We will not stop until we #freethemall!
Support our Familias Reunidas Bond Fund:
At Border Angels, it is our mission to promote a culture of love. Not only do we do so through direct action and advocacy, but through education. It is our hope that in doing so, we will provide a social consciousness that helps and protects our migrant community.
We want to give a huge thank UCSD professor Alexander Huezo by helping us achieve this mission, and inviting our Executive Director Dulce Garcia to speak for his Ethnic Studies: U.S Mexico Border in Comparative Perspective class.
Although this pandemic brings challenges, we will always find a way to spread love and knowledge however we can. Would you like one of our members to present for your virtual class/event? Emails us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, organization, date, time of presentation and topics of discussion!