Friday, May 08, 2015

Release Melida and Estrella from ICE detention

We support the release of Melida and her 4-year-old daughter, Estrella, from family detention in Karnes City, TX. Melida has a 10-year-old U.S. citizen daughter, a sister with a green card, and other U.S. citizen family and friends all waiting for her in New York and willing to care for her while her case proceeds. She has already endured more than eight months of detention, suffering constantly while her daughter has been chronically ill and required hospitalization. She's terrified of returning to Guatemala, where the family of the gang member who was convicted of murdering her sister-in-law wants retribution. ICE has the authority to release her but, so far, has denied every request. If prosecutorial discretion means anything, it means that Melida and Estrella should be released.
Melida and her daughter Estrella—who celebrated her 4th birthday in detention—are asylum seekers from Guatemala who have now been incarcerated for more than eight months.

They are being held at the family detention facility in Karnes City, TX, where 78 mothers recently initiated a hunger strike to protest prolonged detention and deplorable conditions.1

Melida's sister-in-law was murdered by a gang member in 2012, and her family testified against the murderer. He was convicted, and his family seeks revenge. 

Melida and Estrella have suffered horribly from more than eight months in detention. Little Estrella was hospitalized for acute bronchitis and has also suffered from acute pharyngitis, earaches, fevers, diarrhea, and vomiting. Melida has been diagnosed with PTSD, adjustment disorder with anxiety, and a major depressive episode. For months she has watched helplessly as her child suffers.

Tell ICE that this suffering must end, and Melida and her daughter should be released.

Melida has been fighting for protection under U.S. asylum law. But her time in detention has been too painful for her and her 4-year-old, and she can't take detention any longer and is being driven to give up.

No mother should have to choose between protecting herself from life-threatening gangs and facing detention.

Melida's case exemplifies everything that is wrong with what ICE is doing to asylum-seeking families. ICE has the power to release her but won't. If prosecutorial discretion means anything, it means Melida and Estrella should be released from Karnes.

Don't let Melida give up! Tell ICE to exercise prosecutorial discretion and release her!

1. "ICE Director Visits Texas Detention Center Amid Allegations Of Mistreatment," Huffington Post, April 20, 2015 
This petition was created on MoveOn's online petition site, where anyone can start their own online petitions. Karen Lucas didn't pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the list.

Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Start a monthly donation here or chip in a one-time donation here.

No comments: