*If you would like to write for this blog, especially if you are a U.K. student or a member of the Lexington activist community, please contact me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*I attended an excellent community forum last week, sponsored by a local college Amnesty International chapter, on the Valley's immigration detention centers. A few quick facts:
- The Valley has only four board certified immigration lawyers, serving thousands of immigrant detainees. This, along with the cruelty of the judges here, is one of the reasons that so many immigrants from around the country are sent to the Valley's detention centers. A large number are from states far away from Texas.
- Approximately 100 immigrants are flown into the Valley *daily* on special airplanes full of immigrant detainees. Some of these people are quickly deported, while others languish in the detention centers.
- The Raymondville "tent city" detention facility, according to immigration lawyer (one of the four) Jodi Goodwin, has been serving rotten food, and some of the detainees have a toe fungus. Many medical conditions are going untreated.
- The Hutto detention facility near Austin, Texas continues to imprison many immigrant children. A protest at Hutto and a solidarity protest in the Valley are scheduled for this coming Saturday.
- Amnesty International is investigating the recent transfer of Rama Carty from the Valley's Port Isabel detention center to a facility in Louisiana. Although the guards claim that the transfer had been planned weeks before, Rama Carty was a leader in the hunger strikes and in contacting the media and advocacy organizations, so his transfer was likely an attempt to cut off the detainees' links to activist groups. Although ICE (or some related agency?) is attempting to deport him to Haiti, Rama has never been to Haiti and was never a Haitian citizen. According to one speaker at the forum, the Haitian ambassador has stated that Haiti refuses to grant the right to deport Rama to Haiti.