In June of 2010 AFSC help three young people testify at a congressional briefing entitled Immigrant Detention and Family Separation: Not a Family Value. In the packed house were 17 congressional staffers and 13 representatives of advocacy organizations. Co-sponsors included Amnesty International, Families for Freedom, the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, the New Sanctuary Movement of New York and Wind of the Spirit.

16-year-old Jocelyn spoke her mother: “The last time I saw my mother was on a Friday morning, before heading to school. I have not seen her since that day, which was about 3 years ago.”

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From Kadi, 18, came this: “In the year 2002 our mother was deported from the United States of America. Ever since that day our lives have been a rocky rollercoaster. As children who were not even developed enough to understand the situation at hand, we sat back and watched the only woman we knew and trusted be taken away from us.”

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After the arrest of his father, Bassidi shared that authorities “put a monitoring bracelet on his ankle. We have become closer to our father after that, and now we want to spend as much time as possible with him. My brother and I join my father when he cuts the grass, or when he goes to prayer. After that my parents went to the court. My father still doesn’t have his paper, he can’t get a job anymore, and he cannot support my mother and us. I hope that this doesn’t happen to another family, and that this story can make Congress change the law.”

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