Abolish ICE

Image: Phoebe Wahl

Image: Phoebe Wahl

Editor’s Note: The following featured poetry is written by 16-year-old Christina Vo from California, USA.

More than 50,000 people are jailed in ICE detention centers
Placed in prison like jails 
That confines and cage them 
Not treated as humans, as people, as families
but as criminals 
2,000 children are being held by the government per day
Children as young as 2 and 3
Wearing clothes caked with snot and tears
Their only shelter being 
a cage with a few scraps of cloth 
Craving their families’ touch and a decent meal 
But to instead be left with 
Starvation and separation 

Subjected to abuse 
Where searches turned into groping and fondling 
To sexual assaults and threats 
Exposed to diseases 
That is rampant and widespread
Starved til they are nothing more than bones 
To be thrown away
And as they huddle together, languished in their filth and tears 
Behind chain-linked fences 
They plead for freedom in a land 
Where the government would rather see them in graves 

An asylum-seeker and domestic violence survivor from Honduras, who was sexually assaulted by an employee while she was detained with her 3-year-old child; 
her assailant coerced and threatened her with deportation, while the defendants stood by and made jokes. 

Johana Medina Leon, a transgender asylum seeker from El Salvador who reported HIV positive repeatedly plead to ICE for medical care and repeatedly was denied. It took chest pains for her to be sent to the hospital where in the hands of ICE she passed away. 
--small pause--
"Today, we mourn Johana, and renew our pledge to seek justice for her, and for all Black and Brown trans women detained in migrant prisons," 

Wilmer Vasquez who was only 2½ years old when he and his mother traveled to the U.S. to get the health care that was needed for him to survive. Only to be faced with more severe health conditions and die after being taken into custody at the Mexican border 

Martínez and his daughter Valeria, who wrapped in her father’s shirt, fighting for survival drowned in the Rio Grande River with a dream of coming into the United States 

The government would rather spill money into an agency 
That abuses the rights of immigrants 
That separates families 
That profits from the blood and cries of immigrants 
Immigrants who fought hell and back for a home to accept them, to love them, to embrace them 
Only to be criminalized and sentenced 
for just wanting a better life
We must speak up for those whose voices are being silenced 
We must protest against policies of exclusion and oppression 
We must fight for the total freedom of all immigrants
We call to abolish ICE and stand together as immigrants and allies until we can say “NEVER AGAIN!”