Photo: El Paso Detention Center
Santiago Garcia telephoned Efe from inside the detention center and said that he had been there since Nov. 22, when he voluntarily turned himself in to immigration authorities.
“I decided I had nothing to lose and much to gain,” said the 23-year-old North Carolina resident, who was only 4 when his parents brought him to the United States from Mexico.
“We had information that there were many cases of asylum and persecution that had passed their first interview and the deporters did not approve their releases under supervision as immigration regulations establish,” Garcia said.
“These people do not deserve to remain here. They fled their countries because of persecution for political or religious reasons or due to their sexual orientation, and not they are in limbo without knowing if they will be deported or will be able to remain in the U.S.,” he emphasized.
Among the migrants he met in the El Paso center were three pregnant women and another who lost the baby she was expecting while in detention.
“When everything comes to public light I know that I will not be here, and the saddest thing is that many of these immigrants will not be able to leave. So, I’m asking people not to forget them and to support them,” he added.
Garcia said that he will make his identity known on Tuesday in the cafeteria at the detention center and colleagues with NIYA will be protesting outside the facility.
This is the second time that a NIYA member has infiltrated an immigration detention center to verify the condition of the detainees.
Viridiana Martinez, who is also from North Carolina, in 2012 spent several weeks in the Broward Detention Center in Florida.