All Alone in America, Detained Immigrants Find Support

2022854468

National Justice For Our Neighbors applauds this Seattle program because they assist and comfort immigrants and asylum seekers, those in federal custody and those who must stay in the area while their cases are pending. We found this to be an inspiration and share an excerpt of what Sarah Stuteville writes from about The Seattle Times.

We ask people to visit for one hour, two times a month,” says Pat Gunn who helped start up a program to visit those housed in the detention center last year through an a organization called The Northwest Detention Center Roundtable, “It’s really to acknowledge that you are a human being, that you exist and that there is someone on the outside that cares about you.”

The people who make up the facility’s rotating population are undocumented immigrants who were caught by authorities, or legal immigrants who have committed certain crimes that result in them being deported. Some are also asylum seekers — people seeking refuge from persecution and violence in their home countries.

However they got there, “They really are alone,” says Gunn who currently works with 26 volunteers who regularly visit detainees from around the world including Ghana, the Marshall Islands and Bangladesh. She says visits can focus on detainees’ “hopes and dreams,” English lessons or general chitchat — anything that helps address what she calls “the isolation of detention.”

Read more about this program and their compassionate volunteers here.
Picture credit Alex Stonehill / The Seattle Globalist