LIRS Staff Member Shares Her Heartbreaking Trip to Dilley Family Detention Center

FAN recently received a note from our friends at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Last week, LIRS’s Assistant Director, Joanne Kelsey, traveled to Dilley, Texas to tour the family detention center there. The facility currently holds 240 women and children with an expected 2,400 person capacity in the near future. I encourage you to read about her experiences at the facility and the many negative costs of family detention in her moving blog post, “Redefining Welcome.”


The Dilley detention center under construction. Photo credit: Joanne Kelsey

Joanne writes:

On the eve of the Martin Luther King weekend, I visited the “South Texas Family Residential Facility” in Dilley, Texas. Although the word “detention” is missing from the name, there is no hiding the purpose of this massive new facility. The Dilley facility is the largest immigration detention facility ever built, designed to hold 2,400 children and mothers entering the United States. For me, the Dilley facility encapsulates why the immigrant rights movement is the most important civil rights movement of our time.

One scene from the tour sticks with me. A little girl, no older than two, was walking along holding onto one of the male staff members. She was delightful and he was delighted, both of them smiling as she advanced…

Read more…



Published in: on January 28, 2015 at 3:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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