Hilda Cruz, Inland Empire: “Our Work”

A message from Hilda Cruz, Faith Rooted Organizer, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

IM4HI volunteer, Gustavo, picks up asylum seeking woman after months of being detained.

As a faith rooted organizer, I bring people of faith and the larger community together to re-connect to their greatest resource, each other. I invite people to live their faith through concrete actions that will make a difference in someone’s life. I am grateful for the community of people who are truly committed to doing the work of immigrant justice, specifically those seeking asylum. These are the accomplishments of the many volunteers who believe that no one should be detained.

In the Inland Empire, several volunteers drive weekly to visit Adelanto Detention Center and connect with people who are waiting for a final verdict to their immigration cases. Over the past six months, I am happy to share that a total of 25 detained people have been visited. Many of these people are detained asylum seekers who have no connection to the outside and many tell us that we are the first outside people they have seen in months. Many times, the volunteers offer them a connection to outside legal resources, which is invaluable as they strengthen their case for asylum. Of those visited, nine women were released after several months of being detained. Once they were released, people from the visiting groups were able to pick them up, provide them with clothes, lodging, and travel arrangements to their final destination. Two men had bonds fundraised and paid for. Sponsors and hosting families have helped four men for over six months now. Three congregations in this region of the Inland Empire have accompaniment teams walking alongside these newly arrived persons who are thriving with the help of their accompaniment team. No need to explain that the work these congregations are doing is truly faith in action and they are models for community alternatives to detention work.

If you would like to visit asylum seekers in the Adelanto detention center, please contact Hilda Cruz.