Editor's note: the following are excerpts from letters received from Honore, currently detained at the West Texas Detention Facility.
Right now I am in prison since 06/13/2017. I’m a prisoner of ICE. I have escaped my country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, because of my political opinions and I managed to get to the El Paso border to ask for the protection of the United States. But really I am prisoner, two years in prison. I am without hope to leave. I have no family here and ICE is not going to give us freedom because we are Africans.
Here at Sierra Blanca we only eat bread and potatoes. It already 3 weeks, and morning, afternoon and this evening only the bread. Doesn't ICE have any money? If you want to publish this, that’s all right.
I have suffered from an operation at prison and continue to suffer the pain today.
I graduated from university, but what I did not learn in school was the history of the United States that I am currently living.
I am an asylum seeker but now I am nothing more than a criminal. On TV, I see that you are killing justice if someone asks for something good from (illegible) but us Africans are now just criminals because we don’t have the right to good things, we only have the right to stay in prison.
In the prison where we are, to eat well, you need to buy food at the commissariat. It has been six months since I have eaten meat or chicken, and I am sick. The room where we are has lots of city rats. Sometimes there are nights where we can’t go out for recess.
The doctor told me that I have cancer but there is no food, and the treatment only consists of ibuprofen. The organizations that help us send a bit of money to buy things from the commissariat. There are a couple Samaritans that help me eat.
Even to write to you, I buy stamps for 55 cents and I will send you more information about the prices to eat well in ICE detention. ICE is making a profit off of us; they don’t see immigrants but see the business from immigrants in detention.
I am appealing my case.
I don’t know if [there is an end in sight to my] time in prison. Have we been taken hostage? Since I know no one, will I die in prison? Because there are no good conditions, and we work hard for a prison that doesn’t pay us?