As many as 123 immigrants seeking asylum have been detained and transferred to Sheridan federal prison in Yamhill County of Oregon, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) reported.
According to a news report, of the asylum seekers, 13 of the detainees are from Nepal, while others from Sikh or Christian communities were reported to be fleeing religious persecution.
Majority of the detainees are reported to be South Asian people, who speak Hindi and Punjabi, and a few of them speak Chinese. Moreover, the detainees have been isolated, have limited access to interpretation, and are at risk of abuse in their current prison housing arrangement.
APANO has further reported that President Donald Trump’s new “zero-tolerance” policy that prosecutes and separates families of anyone unauthorized to enter the country, including people leaving their native country as a political refugee to seek asylum protection as cruel and inhumane.
APANO is also connecting with local South Asian communities and “One Oregon Coalition” to raise further awareness and support for the detainees. APANO in support from community partners has decided to demand an end to immigration policy that separates families, while supporting detainees, their full rights, transparency on their children’s location, and plans for reunification, in Sheridan tonight.
APANO has urged its members to join its campaign today for a World Refugee Day Vigil in Portland. It has called on its members to be in solidarity with the refugees, asylees, DACA and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) communities, supporters, and allies to stand with immigrants and demand justice for separated families.
The Himalayan Times