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This Nonprofit Organization Is Releasing Letters Written By The Women Detained In Immigration Facilities

Letters written by migrant women detained under the Trump administration’s policy of separating families are highlighting the anguish and heartbreak being experienced by mothers. As part of the nonprofit origination Grassroots Leadership‘s latest effort to reunite separated and detained families, the group has posted several accounts from women who have also detailed the less than bleak conditions of the facilities in which they are being held.

Almost all of the 18 letters offer a harsh glimpse into the conditions the women in the facilities are being forced to endure.

Grassroots Leadership, which describes itself as “a nationally recognized civil and human rights organization,” posted the first of the 18 letters to its website on June 25. In the days since the first letter’s release, the group has posted various other accounts written by the women who have been separated from their children.

One woman, identified as Yasmin wrote, “I was then transferred to McAllen, the dog pound, as they call it. I was there for seven days without showering or brushing my teeth. I ate bread with cold cut processed meat and a juice for every meal.”

According to the Nation, “the dog pound” is one of the unofficial nicknames given to the Border Patrol processing facility in McAllen, Texas where chain link fences are being used to “cage” migrants in.

In an interview with CNN, Bethany N. Carson, one of the group’s organizers explained that the letters “were written to tell their experience publicly to ask for help in being released from detention and reunited with their children.”

Many of the letters were written by mothers hoping to offer soothing words to their children.

In one letter, a woman by the name of Mirian wrote to her son saying  “My son, I write these words with an immense pain in my heart for having you separated from me. But I want you to know that I miss you a lot. And that every day, I pray to God that we’ll be together again soon and that they will never again separate you from me because you are the most beautiful thing that God has given me, you my son. I want you to know that I love you with all my heart and what I am asking God the most is that we will be together.”

“I was separated from my son. I am desperate,” another one of the letters reads. ” I’ve been separated from him since May 14 and no one will give me any information about where he is… Help me, I am distraught, I feel helpless trapped in here unable to do anything for my son. Help. Help. I can’t go on like this anymore.”

One woman, who had her 7-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son taken from her last month by immigration officers wrote, “There are moments I swear I feel am going crazy and I hope that if any of you is a mother, you could understand the pain that we are feeling because they have ripped away the most wonderful thing God has given us, which is our children… I am one of the mothers that is running away from their own country because they threatened to kill me and my children, and that is why we ran away, but here they killed us alive by taking away our children.”

According to the nonprofit, many of the women have been “coerced” into signing voluntary deportation papers in order to be reunited with their children.

In a post to the organization’s site, Grassroots Leadership revealed that the detained women had told the group’s attorneys and advocates that officials inside of the detention centers had insinuated that they would transfer the women separated from children at the border to a military base, where they would begin their first efforts to deport them. The nonprofit revealed in the blog post how the attorneys and advocates feared that authorities would coerce the women into signing voluntary deportation orders by saying that they would see their children sooner if they did.

“The guard told me to get on the bus because I was going to another detention center,” a migrant woman, who turned herself and her 15-year-old son into immigration authorities once they crossed the border, wrote in one of the letters. “I asked for my son and they told me, ‘Lady, your son isn’t here. He’s very far away. You are getting deported back to your country’ and I started to cry and I begged them to give me my son and the guard told me, ‘don’t make me give you an electric shock’… I’ve gone for 23 days without hearing anything about my son. I’m distraught, please help me. This is the worst thing that they could have done to us.”

“There’s a word for that,”  Claudia Muñoz, an immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership said. “It’s torture.”

A total of 16 women wrote the 18 letters received by Grassroots Leadership organizers. Some have claimed that immigration authorities lied to them and assured them that they would only be separated from their children for a short period of time.

Read the full length of the 18 released letters here

Read: As You Celebrate Fourth Of July, Don’t Forget That U.S. “Freedom” Is Deadly To Those In Its Colony Of Puerto Rico

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Kehlani Welcomes Baby Girl After “Hard But Powerful” Unmedicated Home Birth


Kehlani Welcomes Baby Girl After “Hard But Powerful” Unmedicated Home Birth

R&B star Kehlani is a mommy. The singer welcomed her first child, baby girl Adeya, over the weekend.

In an Instagram post on Monday, Lani disclosed that she had an unmedicated home birth, describing the experience as both strenuous and beautiful.

“This weekend our angel arrived healthy & perfect in every way in our bathroom at home,” the 23-year-old crooner captioned a photo of a baby blanket with colorful pine trees. “Unmedicated home birth was the absolute hardest yet most powerful thing I’ve ever done. Thankful beyond words. In love beyond comparison.”

Lani, who had her first baby with guitarist Javie Young-White, talked more about her decision to have a home birth on Twitter.

“All birth is extremely hard and transformative,” she said. “Home birth is a medical decision as is hospital birth, all birth is mind blowing & powerful. … it’s a next level journey whichever way.”

While emphasizing the splendor and power of childbirth, she didn’t deny the physical pain that accompanies it.

“But I hope everyone knows no one can tell me SHIT after that because LORD…next level, no words!”

Lani said she wouldn’t be posting on social media much in order to rest and spend time with her new family but sent her gratitude to her fans for their love, support and well wishes.

Days before the birth of her child, Lani released the music video for “Butterfly,” which appears on the singer’s While We Wait mixtape that dropped last month.

Watch the video for “Butterfly” below:

Read: It’s The Beginning Of The Year And Cardi B and Selena Gomez Have Already Topped Spotify’s Most-Streamed Female Artists

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School


A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

A 9-year-old U.S. citizen was separated from her mother for 36 hours after agents at the border accused her of lying about her citizenship.

Like thousands of students in our country, Julia Isabel Amparo Medina’s daily commute requires her to cross the U.S. border.

The fourth-grade student attends Nicoloff Elementary School in San Ysidro, California and was in a carpool to school from her home in Tijuana when she ran into traffic. Medina, was commuting to school in a car driven by her mother’s friend Michelle Cardena, Cardena’s two children and her own older 14-year-old brother, Oscar. When the long line to get into the U.S. seemed to be jampacked upon their 4 a.m arrival, Cardenas instructed the kids in her car to walk to the border. She assured them that when they reached it, she would call them an Uber to get them the rest of the way to their school.

But Medina and her never made it across the border or to school that day.

According to the New York Times who talked to a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, two Amparo and her brother arrived at one of the San Ysidro port of entry facilities for pedestrians at 10:15 a.m. last Monday.

Upon their arrival, Amparo and her brother presented their U.S. passports to a CBP officer who soon accused her of being someone else. Note: Amparo’s passport image which was taken years before so she did not look exactly like herself. They also accused her brother of smuggling.

A CBP spokesperson has said that Amparo “provided inconsistent information during her inspection, and CBP officers took the 9-year-old into custody to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship.”

After CBP officers the confirmed that her brother was a U.S. citizen, he was permitted to enter the U.S while his sister stayed behind. It wasn’t until 6:30 pm on Tuesday, that Amparo was confirmed to be a U.S. citizen as well and was released and admitted to the U.S. to her mother.

Speaking to NBC7, Amparo said she was “scared” of her detention and that she was “sad because I didn’t have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself.”

According to Amparo’s mother Thelma Galaxia, her daughter claims that she was told by an officer that she and her brother would be released if she admitted to being her cousin. Galaxia claims that officers also convinced her son Oscar to sign a document that Amparo was his cousin and not his sister.

When Galaxia was alerted that her children had been detained she contacted the Mexican consulate.

After being notified by the consulate that her daughter would be released at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. While the family felt relieved to be grateful to be reunited with their daughter, Galaxia says the separation should never have happened.

Over the weekend, Twitter was swift to express their outrage over the incident.

Some even expressed their dismay of having a similar situation happen to them.

Many are using the incident as an example of the racial issues plaguing so many U.S. citizens like Amparo.

So many of the comments included outside opinions from those who have yet to experience the direct targetting of ICE.

Over all, nearly everyone was quick to point out the saddest aspect of Amparo’s experience.

Read: Preschool Students Are Doing Active Shooter Drills And I Guess This Is The New Normal Now

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