Dozens of “desperate parents” detained at the U.S. border have signed an open letter to the American people pleading for support in their efforts to be reunited with their children.
The letter, handwritten in Spanish and obtained and translated by CNN, was dated July 15 and signed by 54 detainees at the Port Isabel Service Detention Center in Los Fresnos, Texas.
“We were not prepared for the nightmare that we faced here,” the letter says. “The United States government kidnapped our children with tricks and didn’t give us the opportunity to say goodbye.”
The letter says the parents have been separated from their children for more than a month with little word about their well-being, other than that the kids are living with other families.
The letter says many of the parents have only been able to speak with their children once, and the children don’t recognize their parents’ voices and feel abandoned and unloved.
“This makes us feel dead in life,” the letter says. “Even with all this trauma, nightmares, anguish and pain that this government is imposing on us and our children, we still have to fight for our asylum cases. But the government doesn’t give us the opportunity to fight our cases and the judges don’t give us the opportunity to speak up.”
The letter claims that U.S. authorities have been denying “nearly all” the asylum requests. The parents say they feel pressured to sign deportation documents so they can see their children again.
“We feel like there is no way out of this nightmare because the asylum officials and the judges are against us,” the letter concludes. “Please help us and bring justice to Texas!”
Eileen Blessinger, an immigration lawyer from Falls Church, Virginia, has traveled to Los Fresno multiple times trying to aid clients. “It’s total craziness,” she said. “They are rejecting everybody.”
By John Bacon for USA TODAY
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