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Put the FREE back in FREEDOM
and the JUST back in JUSTICE

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LETTER TO THOSE WHO CARE:

Feel free to share this, to copy this, to use portions of this or to send this to whomever you like. I only ask that you include the link to our site . . . oh, not even that . . . take some of it and use it as your own if it works for you. Claims to my work don't matter here - the issue is bigger than that. I can always write more. You will also find this posted on my blog for emailing to friends. Please don't turn away and do nothing - these people are running out of places to turn . . .

(FYI - I am currently dealing with a number of immigrants kept in prison by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). - most are totally legal, some know no other country, some are not guilty of any crime at all. One, a minister, was picked up because he was a victim of identity theft, two are victims of domestic abuse and servitude, two are cancer patients denied medical treatment, three face likely death if deported, one suffers with a unrepaired jaw broken from guards, - the list goes on and on. I never intended to step into this nightmare - just wanted to help my friend.

Thanks in advance for your help - from all those whose hopes of finally being heard are riding on this . . .

My name is Deborah Sherman de Santos. I’m writing to you as a resident of New Hampshire and a citizen of the United States in regards to a matter of great concern. People in our small New England town were shocked and dismayed when a close friend and valued neighbor was taken from us by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) the day before Thanksgiving, 2008. A good friend was suddenly missing, his two small daughters left without a father, their primary care-taker for the last eight and a half years.

It has been nearly a year and our friend still sits in prison. When he was first taken I promised my help, expecting that since he is a good man and this is a country of fairness and justice the situation would be quickly resolved. Many thousands of dollars of my own money and nearly a year later I am appalled at what I have experienced and horrified that such things as I have witnessed go on in the United States of America. I am now trying to help a number of immigrants who are doing hard time in prison while their deportation cases slowly wind their way through a system that I as a citizen find unrecognizable. Each day brings fresh revelations of inhumane conditions and third world-like injustices.

While doing what I can to help my friend I have learned a great deal about ICE. I have spoken with many who are terrified of that department. Some of our townspeople fear I am in danger for what I am doing despite my assurances that my ancestry in this country traces back to the founding families. ICE can not deport me or any of my family. Still my friends and family worry. I have not witnessed this kind of fear from law-abiding citizens since the civil rights battles in the Deep South during the 60s. Neither have I witnessed such a callous disregard for the most basic of human rights since that time. What is being done to my friend and others is torture for them and demoralizing to those of us who are forced to bear witness to it. Our country cannot thrive while consistently committing such acts against humanity.

From what I have seen thus far, these are the questions I would like answered:

Why is ICE attempting to deport immigrants who are here legally and who are guilty of no crime? Why are such immigrants doing hard prison time for months and even years while their case is being heard?

Why are some people detained by ICE being treated in ways that would result in arrest if those same acts were committed against a dog?

Why are immigration courts closed to public scrutiny?

Why are petitions for political asylum or withholding of removal not investigated thoroughly and in good faith?

Why are immigrants held in civil detention denied the minimum prison conditions provided to murderers, rapists and drug dealers? Why are their children and families denied the most basic human considerations, such as contact visits?

Why are victims of human trafficking who have under-age citizen children in this country subject to deportation? How has ICE become the main enforcer for those who would hold immigrants in conditions of slavery or domestic servitude?

Why are incidents of assault and battery committed against immigrants while in custody, whether by other inmates or government officials, not investigated and why are appropriate criminal charges not filed against the perpetrators?

Why is medical care not provided to some injured and/or ill immigrants in ICE custody and why are deaths due to withholding of proper medical care not considered worthy of investigation and discipline of those responsible?

How did it ever happen that very young children were kept in ICE custody in this country by being locked in actual prison cells and treated as prisoners?

Why are people in ICE custody who have been ordered deported and are eager to be deported still sitting in prisons for months, even years after, at a cost of $100 a day to the US taxpayer?

How is it that a detainee who has been in prison on no criminal charge for nearly a year can have his case listed by ICE as ongoing for only 42 days?

Why do we not investigate and rectify all incidents of deliberate perjury, withholding or destroying of pertinent documents or any other deliberate denial of justice in an immigrant’s case and file criminal charges against those responsible?

Why do we not investigate and rectify all cases of withholding of adequate food, water or other basic necessities to health and life from immigrants in ICE custody and file appropriate charges against those responsible?

Why are some of our under-age citizens in this country being forced to choose between being raised by their immigrant parents and being raised in their country?

Why do we continue to imprison non-dangerous immigrants, many who have committed no crime, when ICE and DHS has proven they are currently unable to provide said immigrants with adequate physical conditions of detention and/or timely justice?

Why are suspected terrorists being granted greater considerations for their safety and well being than innocent immigrants held by ICE?

In the United States of America a kennel owner who cannot adequately care for the number of dogs in his or her care is not allowed to continue to keep that many dogs. A kennel owner who abuses those dogs looses his or her right to keep dogs at all. DHS and ICE have, by their actions and admission shown that they are not able to adequately care for the number of mmigrants they presently hold in custody. They have shown through their actions that they can not protect or are unwilling to protect from abuse the immigrants they are currently holding. Are not these immigrants, these human beings, worthy of at least as much consideration as we would grant a dog?

Thank you for your attention,


Deborah Sherman de Santos
www.OBFThePeople.org
Deborah@obfthepeople.org

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