Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… on second thought, no—I’ll just throw them into prison.”

with 2 comments

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee writes at ThinkProgress:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are set to release a 27-year-old Honduran migrant mother who attempted suicide minutes after officials gave her the choice between paying a $5,000 bond or remaining in an immigration detention center in Texas. Just last month, a federal court issued an injunction to temporarily halt the government from detaining migrant mothers with children seeking asylum in the United States. But advocates are saying that officials are bypassing the injunction by issuing high bonds as a way to keep those immigrants in detention and deter future border crossers.

“They told me they were going to send me to another psych center, but instead they brought me to this detention center,” Bernice said last week according to a press release. “They took my child from me and have not told me anything about where she is. I know I will be killed if I am deported; I cannot pay $5,000. I ask for god to help me.”

Immigration officials have detained Bernice at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas since December 2014. Bernice, a Honduran of Garifuna descent, was found to “have favorable credible fear findings, a process which allows for individuals to pursue their asylum cases,” according to an Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) press release.

Jonathan Ryan, the executive director of the immigration rights group Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) told ThinkProgress on Thursday that Bernice had been politically active in Honduras and was seeking political asylum in the United States after “she got into a tight situation” fighting for equality for the Garifuna community, an oppressed minority group of Afro-Caribbean descent living in Honduras.

“This is someone who sought redress from harm in her country and her country failed her,” Ryan said. “We failed her in terms of helping her and we made it worse by putting her in detention, calling her a threat to national security. The [high] bond that she received was under the ‘national security’ argument.”

In an April 2013 ruling, former Attorney General John Ashcroft argued against granting bond to a Haitian immigrant because it would encourage future illegal entries, Buzzfeed reported.

Immigration officials generally determine the bond price based on a variety of factors, including whether an immigrant could be a flight risk or pose a public safety threat. According to Mohammad Abdollahi, the RAICES advocacy director, lower bonds — the minimum set at $1,500 — are set for immigrants who have U.S. citizen connections because they are more likely to show up to court. Higher bonds are generally set for immigrants with undocumented family members.

Even after Ryan argued that Bernice has U.S. citizen family members who could take her in and could assure that she would check in with the court, ICE reportedly refused to budge on the bond amount. “Why her bond remained the same was confusing to me as her attorney,” he said. “It was clearly confusing and devastating to her, as the person in detention, because it was within minutes of hearing this that she lost all hope and did something drastic.”

After Bernice’s attempted suicide, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 March 2015 at 8:43 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on Brian By Experience.

    Brian Dead Rift Webb

    12 March 2015 at 11:13 pm

  2. Reblogged this on


    14 March 2015 at 3:59 am

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