Update: Alex Forced Into Protective Custody
Thursday, March 05, 2015
I received a letter from Alex today. It seems that his time in the general population at the new facility has been cut short. A gang there in the new facility approached him and gave him an ultimatum: Either join the gang or receive regular beatings. So, he had to request to be placed into protective custody and once again, he's been confined to a tiny 8x10 foot cell for 23 hours each day, 7 days a week.
It is shocking that even in a low security facility, immigrants are not safe from the threat of violence. Instead of locking away the gang members, immigrant detainees are forced to seek safety by being isolated and locked away for months or even years. Psychological studies have shown that extended periods of isolation like this can cause severe mental health issues, even long after a prisoner has been released. The international community, civil rights groups, and even the United Nations have all condemned solitary confinement as a form of torture.
For non-US citizens, they are often placed in facilities that are ran by for-profit companies, placed way out in rural areas where it is hard for families, attorneys, and journalists to visit the inmates. For me, it's hard to think this is not intentional on the part of the government? As the saying goes, "Out of sight, out of mind."
Be a Part of the Change - Contact Your Congressman/woman
Friday, February 27, 2015
If you want to be a part of the movement to change the way our government treats immigrants, especially those who came here without permission, use this online tool to contact your own congressman. Let them know your feelings on this matter.
We ask that you also take a few minutes to write both the warden of the Big Spring facility where Alex is housed as well as the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The FCI Big Spring warden can be reached at Big Spring Warden
The Bureau of Prisons can be reached via their Contact Us page here: Bureau of Prisons Contact Page
Please let them know Alex deserves to be treated humanely and afforded a safe environment. Let them know also that forcing inmates to endure exnteded periods in solitary confinement is inhumane and is considered a form of torture by many civil rights groups and even the international community. Ask for the Bureau of Prisons to intervene on Alex's behalf and relocate him to another facility where he can be allowed in the general population without fear of gang violence.
Immigrants in Federal Prisons ‘Subjected to Shocking Abuse and Mistreatment
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I've included links below to two excellent articles on how immigrants are abused and mistreated at the hands of our government. They are frequently placed in facilities that are contracted out by for-profit companies whose sole goal is to house immigrant inmates for as little money as possible in order to maximize profits. This has frequently led to inmates being denied proper medical care while being sent to solitary confinemnet for minor infractions. (They get paid more for prisoners housed in solitary.)
As a minister and as a patriotic American, I am appalled that we allow our government to treat any human this way. As a follower of Christ, I can't find any scriptures where the Lord gives us permission to treat others this way. He commanded us to pray for and to bless even our enemies.
The boundaries and artifical borders that man has made to separate us from one another cannot be justified in the scriptures. We are to love one another. Is an American of any more worth than a non-citizen? Does God somehow love Americans more than the people of any other country?