by Tien Ho
Dear immigration and community supporters,
My name is Tien Ho. I am an immigration detainee at Northwest ICE Processing Center (NWIPC) in Tacoma, Washington for 16 months. I am waiting for the Board of Immigration Appeals to make a decision on my appeal of the Immigration Judge's decision. I am writing this letter once again to urge you to please contact your congressional representatives to pressure ICE to release me and other detainees at NWIPC.
My whole family is here in the United State. My husband, his family and my 3-year-old son are U.S. citizens. My mother and brother, who just opened her own coffee shop in Seattle during this pandemic, are permanent residents. I have been in the U.S. since December 2006.
Since I am detained at NWIPC, I have not seen my 3-year-old son in person. There was one exception at my individual hearing which was briefly about 2 minutes. He got kicked out of the courtroom because he would not sit still. It was heartbreaking to see my son going through these hardships. I am able to video chat with him every day thankfully for my husband and community supporters who support me financially with the video calls' fees.
During this coronavirus pandemic, I am always worried about my family's wellbeing. My son is only 3 and easily gets sick. In the beginning of the pandemic, he coughed and had a fever. Thankfully, he was okay. My brother's store, Coffeholic, is operating to support the community. My mother, who has high blood pressure, is at a high risk of getting the virus. My mother-in-law has cancer. Everything is falling on my husband who was unemployed because of the lay off at Boeing. I fall deep into stress and depression. I have to take allerty medication which makes me sleep all day because NWIPC medical does not want to change my diet. They rather to give me medication instead of not giving me the foods [I] have allergy with.
With the Black Lives Matter movement, I am raged to watch the news about how the police mistreated people, even though they are U.S. citizens. However, I believe that all lives matter. It should not matter what skin colors we are. In reality, we as immigrants are discriminated and mistreated all the time. My criminal case is one example. Nothing we, my husband and I, said matters compared to the lies of the police. All because they had badges and we did not. I had never involved with the police until that fateful day they knocked on my door.
I have lots of support from the community, particularly Parisol and AIDNW members. I can assure you that I am [not] a danger to the community. I know how it feels to be away from my family and lose my freedom. Nothing is more important than my family and the community that has been supporting me.
Please urge your congressional representatives to pressure ICE to release detainees at the detention center! Please do everything in your power to get me release and reunite with my family!
Please call or write these Congressional representatives and urge the release of Tien and others detained at Northwest Detention Center!
Senator Patty Murray: 950 Pacific Avenue, Ste. 650, Tacoma, Washington 98402. Phone: (253) 572-3636
Senator Maria Cantwell,: 950 Pacific Avenue, Suite 615Tacoma, WA 98402. Phone: (253) 572-2281
Representative Adam Smith, 9th District: 2264 Rayburn Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515. Phone: (202) 225-8901. Chief of Staff: Shana Chandler
Cover graphic by Anthony Miranda, who was detained at Northwest Detention Center before being deported earlier this year.