From a translated letter sent to FFI from Javier* while he was detained at Buffalo Federal Detention Facility. His current whereabouts are unknown. The Freedom for Immigrants cover sketch is also by Javier.
Today I am writing to you because I received the tri-fold containing the information about your organization and it seemed very interesting to me. It fills me with joy and motivation knowing that out there, there are those who care for those of us who are detained. I will take advantage of this opportunity and I will share with you a little bit about my story.
My name is Javier*. I was born in a beautiful village in Honduras. I am 30 years old and I am the father of a beautiful 4 year old boy. I worked for 9 years in the teaching field in my country.
I am a teacher, I enjoyed my job, a lot since it is one of the various professions that is at the service of the rest of the people. Those were a marvelous 9 years for during that time I was able to contribute to the educational development of my country.
We left our entire life behind.
On April 15th, 2018, my wife, my child, and I decided to emigrate from our country because of the many injustices that occur there. We came to this country with the notion of protecting our lives, leaving everything we had; our jobs, family, university careers, friends. In conclusion, we left our entire life behind.
We arrived in this country on Friday, May 4th, 2018 after having crossed Guatemala and Honduras with much suffering, walking for entire days, sleeping on the ground and many times without eating.
We crossed the Rio Bravo with much fear and under a great thunderstorm, we searched for border patrol and we turned ourselves in. In that moment we felt such relief, such joy, because we believed that the worst had passed. Unfortunately, the nightmare had just begun.
Today marks nearly 14 months that I have not kissed or hugged my small child.
The officers took our information and they took us to a farm. There they separated me from my wife and my child and until this day I have not seen them again. Today marks nearly 14 months that I have not kissed or hugged my small child.
Never did I imagine that this country’s immigration system would be so cruel. The separation of families goes against human nature and against the laws of God.
Three months after having arrived in the United States, locked up in these 4 walls, I received the worst news of my life. On the 24th of August, 3 weeks after an immigration judge denied me bail, my 55 year old father passed away due to a stroke and a heart attack. I truly felt that I had no strength to continue fighting in this place. It has been the worst few months of my life, full of pain, anguish, and uncertainty not knowing what will happen to me in this place, for I can’t return to my country because my life is in danger over there and what my heart truly desires is to remain in this country and start a new life with my family.
I want to offer my son a better future, away from crime, corruption, and daily deaths at the hands of criminals, I don’t want him to grow up watching hundreds of people violently die.
My child, at 4 years old, dreams to be a doctor and I want to live to help him fulfill his dreams.
These are the reasons that haven given me the strength to endure this unjust confinement. I truly feel that it is unjust because I am not a criminal, I only came to this country to seek asylum in order to protect my life and the life of my family.
My wife and my son have lived in Virginia since May 2018, for they were quickly released but the pain of not being able to be together is tremendous, my heart is torn into a thousand pieces when my son asks me why I am not with him, where I am, that I don’t love him because I don’t play with him anymore ...this is truly painful.
I don't plan on abandoning this fight, no matter how difficult it is.
Today I have shared a little bit about my story hoping that in some way, shape, or form you can help me, I’m also sending you a drawing that I hope you all will like. I will be waiting for anything you can do to help me and my family, and we will be eternally grateful, for I don’t plan on giving up, I don't plan on abandoning this fight, no matter how difficult it is. May God give me the necessary strength and wisdom.
*Name changed for purposes of privacy.