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Immigration Rights Group Holds Petition Drive

Asking for Independent Monitoring of Youth Immigration Holding and Detention Facilities

The Texas Network of Justice For Our Neighbors

San Antonio,Texas (PR MediaRelease) July 9, 2019

The Texas Network of Justice For Our Neighbors, an immigration legal services, education and advocacy ministry, announced today that they have launched an on-line petition drive in hopes of getting Texas Senator John Cornyn and Texas Senator Ted Cruz to meet with them and support requiring independent monitoring of youth immigration detention and holding facilities.

The petition launch comes on the heels of news reports that shined light on the deplorable conditions of two Texas facilities.

ABC News broke the story on June 24, after obtaining a medical declaration filed by board-certified physician, Dolly Lucio Sevier after her visits to border patrol holding facilities in Clint and McAllen, Texas.  Lucio Sevier assessed 39 children in the facilities under the age of 18 and described the conditions at the McAllen facility as comparable to torture facilities.  Her report sighted “extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food.”

The report went on to say teen mothers were not being permitted to wash baby bottles, that older children were put in charge of younger children and that the children were horribly dirty and poorly fed.

“Quality of care is not a partisan issue,” said Matt Lohmeier, Executive Director of San Antonio Region Justice For Our Neighbors. “Children are in immigration holding and detention through no fault of their own.  They have come to the United States asking for help and they are being held in facilities medical professionals compared to torture facilities.  Change must happen now.”

The group says they would like to see the end of for-profit detention facilities but The Reverend Elizabeth Wright, Director of the Austin Region Justice For Our Neighbors, explained the request for independent monitors is a starting place.  “We have a chance as constituents to move Senators Cruz and Cornyn to act. This humanitarian crisis is happening in our state.  We want to see our leaders truly lead, to solve this humanitarian problem, not get mired in politics.”

The Rev. Karen Jones, President of East Texas Justice For Our Neighbors, believes calling for independent monitors is an appropriate and necessary immediate response to the crises of negligent care of children at the border. She believes Senators Cornyn and Cruz can and will act with compassion toward our youngest and most vulnerable asylum seekers. This action is a good-faith move toward transparency which can lead to further bi-partisan collaboration toward solutions at the border.

In 2018, both Senator Cruz and Senator Cornyn introduced legislation to keep immigrant families together after they cross the border into the United States.

“Sadly, many children are coming to the United States to escape threats of violence,” said Manne Favor, Executive Director of Justice For Our Neighbors Houston.  “Gang violence is at an all-time high in many countries and the teens seeking safety in the U.S. have come become their lives have been threatened.”

Graham Bateman, attorney and Executive Director of North Central Texas Justice For Our Neighbors was brought to tears hearing the news. “In 50 years, this is what the world is going to remember about the United States.  America will be remembered as the land of those who victimize the victims,” she said. “This is not my America or the America my father nor my grandfather fought for.”

The group is encouraging everyone to sign the on-line petition by visiting the groups Facebook page at Texas JFON or via http://bit.ly/STOPtheABUSE.

 

Editor’s Note: The Texas Network of Justice For Our Neighbors includes the following independent organizations: North Central Texas Justice For Our Neighbors, Austin Region Justice For Our Neighbors, San Antonio Region Justice For Our Neighbors, Justice For Our Neighbors Houston and East Texas Justice For Our Neighbors.

 

Justice For Our Neighbors provide low-income immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers with affordable, high-quality immigration legal services and to engage in immigration education and advocacy.

Justice For Our Neighbors provide low-income immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers with affordable, high-quality immigration legal services and to engage in immigration education and advocacy.

Tina Bruno Stanley
The Texas Network of Justice For Our Neighbors
Communications Consultant
2105595277
communications@TexasJFON.org

 
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