Christmas in Detention

Posted on Sun 23 December 2007 in Dispatches • 1 min read

My friend Christina, who works in immigration law, has penned this powerful post regarding how immigrants in detention will be spending their holiday season. I’m not the only one linking to this or quoting the same passage, but it’s such a powerful image:

One of the detention centers has wreaths hung on the front security doors. These blue metal doors are the only gaps in a field of barbed wire. They buzz when you open them and slam shut behind you to remind you that yes, you really are locked inside now, and you can only leave if the guards permit you to. You’re at their mercy. But, hey, wreaths! Lush ones! Aren’t you armed with Christmas cheer now!

I sat outside that cheerily bedecked detention center on a bird shit stained bench while I told a five year old that neither Santa nor God nor any of the other deities in a child’s pantheon could bring his daddy home from Christmas. Daddy will be spending his fourth Christmas in immigration detention, a sentence 400% percent longer than any he served for a criminal conviction.”

Read the whole post, it’s one of the most moving essays I’ve read in a while.