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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Sign-on Letter Requests Release of Family Held in Deportation Jail

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The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is currently fighting for the release of a refugee family from El Slavador currently detained indefinitely in the family deportation internment camp known as Karnes Family Detention Center, a for-profit private prison, run by the GEO Group. While detained the 12-month-old daughter became victim to repeated sexual abuse. Needless to say, the family is devastated.

A national sign-on letter has been drafted urging the immediate release of the family. Please consider adding your or your organization's name.

From the letter:

We, the undersigned, ask that DHS immediately release the G.S. family from the Karnes Family Detention Center. Not only do they have a viable asylum claim, but A.E.G.S., the daughter, was the victim of sexual abuse while inside the Karnes Center. The G.S. family should not be further traumatized with indefinite detention; DHS should release the family immediately.

This family has a strong asylum case. E.G.S. has been the victim of multiple rapes. In January 2016, her brother-in-law was murdered, and 4 Mara-18 gang members who murdered him gang raped E.G.S. at her brother-in-law's wake. They then began robbing her, and threatening and stalking her daughter, A.E.G.S.. In March 2016, they again raped her. It was this most recent rape, and the persistent threats against her daughter, that convinced E.G.S. to leave El Salvador and flee for safety to the United States.

While detained at Karnes, A.E.G.S. has been the victim of sexual abuse. This abuse was reported to GEO staff on April 13th and again the following days as A.E.G.S. was repeatedly abused. DHS and GEO staff have not taken any action to protect A.E.G.S. during this time and they continue to force the family to share rooms with strangers.

An April 19th request to the Houston Asylum office to grant a new asylum interview was denied on April 21st, without reason. On April 22nd a complaint was filed with the DHS office of Civil Rights Civil Liberties as to the failure of USCIS to recognize E.G.S. as a victim of trauma, and failure to accommodate that status during the asylum process. On April 26th, a petition was filed with the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, urging the commission to enter precautionary measures, to protect the G.S. family.

The continued detention of the G.S. family is deeply troubling as E.G.S. states in her own declaration, “Since [A.E.G.S.] was assaulted my daughter has had trouble sleeping and she is not interested in playing ball with the other children here like she used to. She is scared, has lost her appetite, and wants to spend the weekends sleeping. As for me, I also have trouble sleeping and have headaches. But most of all, I am devastated that I brought my daughter to try to escape the sexual abuse that I suffered in El Salvador and with which she was threatened there. Instead, she has suffered what we were fleeing.”

We, the undersigned, ask for the immediate release of the G.S. family. We ask that CRCL properly investigate the issues brought to light by this family’s plight, and that DHS properly investigate the sexual abuse the family suffered while detained.

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Updated 05-09-2016 at 11:29 AM by MKolken


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