Remembering people in immigration detention during this pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across borders and oceans, we have gained a renewed awareness of our shared humanity within the global community. While we are all vulnerable to catching the virus, the impact upon each of those infected—and the impact of government and community actions to protect all of us from it—is different based on existing “underlying vulnerabilities”. 

People in immigration detention centers (prisons) are immediately vulnerable due to both their physical incarceration and limited access to medical care. Asylum seekers and survivors of torture face additional vulnerabilities due to the past harm that may have caused both physical and emotional or psychological injuries.


What can you do? You can write. You can donate. You can learn more.

Several years ago, I asked someone recently released from immigration detention what was the first thing he did when he got out. He answered simply, “Breathe. Just breathe.” His response was telling because being in detention often creates a stifling sense of isolation. For years, visitation programs have been one way that people of faith have helped bring “air”, hope, and human connection to those in detention. On March 13, 2020 Immigration & Customs Enforcement ended all social visitation to people in detention. No family visits. No volunteer visits. No religious worker visits. Only meetings with lawyers.

Write a card or letter of encouragement. 

You can write a poem, a prayer, or a few short notes of hope inside blank, unsealed envelopes with a stamp. Then put these into a larger envelope and mail them to one of the groups listed below.

Want to get the whole family involved? Invite children to draw a picture or write their own message of comfort and encouragement. Please do not attach anything to adorn the cards, including stickers, glitter, etc. 

Casa Mariposa Detention Visitation Program
P.O. Box 40884
Tucson, AZ 85717

Guadalupe Presbyterian Church
Attn:  Selena Keesecker
Guadalupe Presbyterian Church
8619 S. Ave Del Yaqui
Guadalupe, AZ  85283

El Refugio in GA (Spanish cards are needed!)
El Refugio Ministry
PO Box 3996
Decatur, GA 30031

Donate to support these vital ministries with people in immigration detention.

Support PDA’s refugee & asylum grant program which includes ministries with people in detention:

Learn more about immigration and ways you can bring hope to people in detention during this time of crisis and in the days ahead: 

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