Readers of this blog may recall a trip I made with other teachers and activists from Durham to work for the release of Wildin David Guillen Acosta and Yefri Sorto-Hernandez, as well as other teenagers detained by ICE. Tonight I received the following alert from Alerta Migratoria, who work here in Durham on fighting detention and deportation in our area:
“Can you make a quick call for Nestor, an Appalachian State Graduate who got caught up in the deportation machine after his DACA renewal was denied due to a DWI charge? Nestor is the victim of vehicular assault when he was being transported to Stewart Detention Center from Wake County, as in the case of Jean Carlos Jimenez who was recently found unresponsive in his cell at Stewart. Can folks help Nestor? Attached is a graphic with sample script and phone numbers to call. Nestor has a pending U visa app with USCIS as a result of this assault but Judge Arrington refuses to let him go.
As I wrote before, SDC in Lumpkin has one of the worst records in the country with regards to treatment of and fair court proceedings for those detained and threatened with deportation. Recently, a 27 year old young man named Jean Carlos Jiménez-Joseph was found dead in solitary confinement at Stewart Detention Center, a death that was ruled to be self-inflicted. Allies linked his death to the failure of SDC to provide mental health services, as well as their refusal to allow a volunteer to visit Jean-Carlos the day before he died. The volunteer had been sent at Jean Carlos mothers’ request, after a visit she paid to him the day before alerted her to the distress he was in. The SDC told the volunteer they do not allow visitors to those in solitary confinement, a condition that studies have found to constitute a form of torture. Here is a 2014 CBS news piece on a NY study that found those in solitary confinement are 7 times more likely to harm themselves or take their own lives than other inmates.
Read more here from El Refugio at Stewart Detention Center, where we stayed when we went down to visit North Carolina students. One disturbing detail from the piece: the hospital where he was taken in an ambulance after being discovered in his cell was 45 minutes away from this typically remote detention center. You can help with funeral expenses and the investigation into his death here. And call the Durham DA to keep another young man out of ICE’s clutches.