UPDATES from Lawyers for Good Government


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♦️Project Corazon♦️

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While most of us spent the 4th of July with our families, intrepid Lawyers for Good Government volunteer attorney Veronica Walther was in Texas helping women apply for asylum.

Here is part of her harrowing report /2
I spent all of this Independence Day at #KarnesResidentialCenter Yes, it's a holiday but these women and children do not get a day off from detention so we do not take a day off from helping. There is more than enough work to do. /3
The kids were in the visiting room all day. The women were more relaxed and open. I only realized later, it was because their kids were within reach all day. There is a constant undercurrent of fear that kids will be separated. Rumors run rampant; we do our best to dispel them./4
The process at the border depends on how and where people arrive. Some cross the desert, some float or even walk across the river, some cross at a bridge or entry point. You are allowed to seek asylum regardless of how or where you entered the US./5
At some places, immigrants have to wait for days. At others, they come right through. Once you arrive and turn yourself in or are caught, you are in expedited removal proceedings. Basically, unless you have a way to stay in the country (seeking asylum), you will be deported. /6
If you claim that you are afraid to return to home or that you are seeking asylum, you will be sent to a processing center. There, you will receive a medical exam, and you may get vaccinations. You are then sent to a center commonly known as the ‘hielera’, the freezer. /7
The hielera is basically a large, windowless, cinder block area. People are separated by age/family/sex, often divided by chain-link type fences. You do not have a mattress nor a bench available, because these are holding cells and not considered residential facilities. /8
You sit and sleep on the floor. Your only source of comfort is a mylar blanket. These facilities are called hieleras for an obvious reason: they are COLD. Lights are on around the clock. This is especially disorienting when there are no windows and no semblance of normalcy./9
Think of being a child, fresh from a walk across the harsh, hot desert, likely sunburnt. You are now in a cold room with this weird, slick, warm/cold blanket that doesn’t even help you shield your eyes from the glaring fluorescent lights. /10
And you’re hungry. Everyone tells me food is insufficient at the hielera, and foreign. Water is limited and tastes strongly of bleach, sometimes burning the women’s throats. Kids can get juice but don’t want to eat. Parents can’t stomach the cold soups and frozen sandwiches. /11
You are not allowed to shower or brush your teeth. There is minimal privacy when using the bathroom - you share an exposed sink and toilet, which may have piles of used sanitary napkins and toilet paper next to it. /12
If you are menstruating, sanitary pads are limited - without being allowed to shower, your soiled clothes start to reek. They are often crowded and occasionally there may not be enough room to lay down. Medical care is extremely limited. Guards are often the worst here. /13
You shouldn’t be in the hielera longer than 72 hours but most women I’ve met spent 3-7 days there. Then, you may be told that you’ll be let out if you just sign this paper - BUT you may not be told that paper is accepting your deportation. /14
From the hielera, many women and families are sent to a ‘perrera’, the dog pound/kennel. The perrera is similar to the hielera but slightly better. At the perrera the lights are still on and it’s still cold, but maybe not quite as cold. /15
It is called the dog kennel because rooms are subdivided into little fenced cages. Here, you have a bench to sit on and may have a mattress. You have a bit more privacy for the restroom. Food, water, and medical care are still limited but more accessible than at the hielera. /16
You likely are in your same clothes and cannot shower or brush your teeth yet, but at least you are slightly more comfortable. For the women I’ve spoken to, they are mostly happy to be safe from the threats and risks they left behind, and of course to be with their children. /17
Next, women and children are sent to one of 3 family detention centers. I am volunteering at one of them, #KarnesResidentialCenter. By the time you get here, you are relieved to be in a place with beds and other facilities where you can provide some normalcy to your children. /18
The water still tastes bad and the food still isn’t good, but there is enough. You are given new clothes (t-shirts, jeans, and slip-on shoes) and you are allowed to shower, brush your teeth, do laundry. You are safe for now, and you are with your children. /19
If you have trouble understanding how difficult these families’ lives were in their home countries, consider this: Not one single woman or child any of us has met on this trip has expressed any regret about making the treacherous journey north. /20
Some feel peace for the first time in years. They are grateful for what little they have. Because home is so much worse. For these women and children, home is the mouth of a shark. They would never leave otherwise. /21

#L4GG #RAICES #Karnes
Thank you, Veronica. I pray that the women you are helping appreciate what you are doing.

I KNOW that those of us at Lawyers for Good Government do.

Never give up. Never give in.

Always #resist

#LawyersResist @lawyers4goodgov


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More from @axidentaliberal

Sep 12, 2018
Billions are being spent to detain immigrants. What a colossal waste on an immoral, hateful policy.

How many in the path of #Florence could that help?

"Southwest Key has received $1.39 billion..Baptist Child & Family Services has received $942 million.

How many could it have helped in #PuertoRico?

How many people complaining about jobs and the economy could've had their lives improved?

How many mass shootings could've been stopped?

How many roads and bridges could've been built?

How much could we have improved health care?
How much more secure could we have made our elections?

How many climate disasters could we have ameliorated, if not prevented?

How many people could've been retrained for better paying jobs?

Think elections don't affect you?

They do, whether you know it or not

Read 5 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
Torture and Perjury:

Imagine if a sitting Supreme Court Justice was involved in discussions about whether the US can imprison people

Without a trial

Without lawyers

And torture them-

And then lied about it

During his own confirmation hearing

When Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to become a judge in 2006, he was asked about his work in the Bush administration. Specifically he was questioned about the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. He said he was “not involved in the questions about..detention of combatants.”
Problem is, a year later it came out that he WAS involved in some of these arguments.

How did we get here?

Read 18 tweets
Aug 24, 2018
UPDATE: Lawyers for Good Government

♦️Project Corazon♦️

More reports from Dilley, Texas

Courtesy of L4GG member Pam Woldow and her husband Doug Richardson

Please support Protect Corazon by texting CORAZON to 91999


We first thought Dilley isn’t inherently evil-just a large, emotionless machine running on bureaucratic inertia. Now we learn that for some, that’s not true. For them, Dilley is a torture chamber, built to cause the most extraordinary pain and exert devastating control over women
We have yet to see a single drug dealer, gang member or vandal bent on a life of crime in the US. That’s what they’ve risked their lives to escape, not what they intended to bring to America. And yet we expend enormous resources to keep these victims from victimizing us.
Read 11 tweets
Aug 18, 2018

Lawyers for Good Government’s

♦️Project Corazon♦️

Reports from Dilley, Texas, courtesy of L4GG member Pam Woldow and her husband, Douglas Richardson

To support us, please text CORAZON to 91999

Men working at Dilley have to tread carefully, because many of their clients’ pains and indignities stem from their oppressed relationships with the men in their lives: abusive husbands, gang members, drunken relatives, indifferent police and government, and snakeheads.
It is therefore no surprise that some of the women receiving Credible Fear Interview preparation are reluctant to have a man sitting in on their prep team, are reluctant to reveal painful intimacies to men whose supportive attitudes and good will may seem foreign to them.
Read 11 tweets
Jul 23, 2018
Would you support a Supreme Court nominee if a Senator asked the Attorney General to investigate that person for perjury?

What if that same nominee thought a president should be free from virtually any scrutiny while in office?

Both are part of Brett Kavanaugh’s record.

Kavanaugh worked in the Bush White House. Later, he testified at his confirmation hearing to become a federal judge and was asked about his role in the administration’s development of policies involving torture and treatment of detainees. He denied all knowledge and was confirmed
The next year, NPR reports came out which indicated Kavanaugh was indeed aware of these policies. Senator Durbin said “[h]e had to know he was misleading me and the committee and the people who were following this controversial nomination.”

Senator Leahy went further.
Read 14 tweets
Jul 21, 2018
UPDATE: Lawyers for Good Government’s

♦️Project Corazon♦️

to reunite families separated by the Trump administration and providing legal assistance to those seeking asylum.


We are now a coalition of 40+ large law firms and non-profit organizations, 6,000+ volunteer lawyers across the country, 2,000+ translators, social services providers, and others, all working together to address not only the immediate family separation crisis and asylum issues.
Last week, we launched our remote legal services project, drafting five "Request for Reinterview" briefs in under 12 hours for mothers who are separated and detained. This week, we are working to help drafting of as many as 350 Motions for Reconsideration for separated parents.
Read 10 tweets

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