July 7, 2020
When the Otay Mesa Detention Center at the U.S-Mexico border had the highest confirmed COVID-19 cases of any detention facility in the country, our grantee, ABA Immigration Justice Project, worked tirelessly to get detainees released. Check out this moving video they made of all of their clients they were able to get out of detention over the course of a week in May.
The gentleman with the guitar is from Honduras and he was released after 420 days. He was ordered removed (deported) after appearing in court without an attorney. However, IJP was successful in their appeal of his case so the court has remanded and they will represent him in his new proceedings.
The gentleman holding the little boy fled his home country with his wife when she was pregnant. He wound up alone in immigration custody for over 460 days. He was very defeated and had lost all hope when IJP's pro bono coordinator met with him. IJP was not only able to find him an attorney but also coordinated with an organization in Texas to post his bond. The little boy in the picture is his son who he'd just met for the first time.
Another gentleman from the video asked when he was picked up at the detention center around dusk by volunteers if they wouldn't mind allowing him a little time before boarding the car. He wanted to see the moon rise after not having seen the moon for so long.