The Detainee Allies Letter Collection (previously Otay Mesa Detention Center Detainee Letters) documents the hidden stories of hundreds of refugees from human rights hot spots around the world--including Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil, Cameroon, Eritrea and China. The letters are from detainees held at various detention centers under the authority of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). These letters provide insight into the lives of asylum seekers and migrants both before and during detention. Identifying information has been redacted to protect the privacy and safety of the writers. Letters date from July 2018 to present.
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- The author left Honduras due to discrimination against gays, domestic violence, and an attack on him. D. got no help in filling out the asylum application (which must be in English), but he was granted parole except that he needs to find someone to sponsor him. He hopes to continue his studies. The letter also encloses legal documentation about the author's parole, which was removed for the detainee's privacy and safety..
- The author seeks asylum because of discrimination in Honduras for being gay. He fled to Mexico but still experienced discrimination there, so he decided to come to the U.S where he believed he would be treated better. However, he was harassed by CBP officers at the border and was put in jail for 10 days and then transferred to the detention center. At first he was in a "pod" or building where he was discriminated against, and he signed his deportation order, but an immigration official helped transfer him to another pod where they helped him stop the deportation process ang begin his application to stay in the U.S.
- The author seeks asylum due to discrimination against the LGBTQ community. He had signed his deportation order, but is happy that he found friends in the detention center who are also in the LGBTQ community and who are supportive of him. They helped him stop his deportation. He includes his life story.