100 signatures reached
To: Our Community and Washington
TO: ICE - TACOMA NORTHWEST DETENTION CENTER (CENTRO DE DETENCIÓN DEL NOROESTE TACOMA). FREE RUDY!
Rudy is from El Salvador who has been detained for 8 months in the Northwest Detention Center, he has been in the US since 2008. He came here from El Salvador seeking refuge. He was indicted for intent to distribute meth and he entered a guilty deal and served his time in prison. Gangs from El Salvador forced him to sell drugs by threatening his family, that’s a reality many Salvadorenos have to face. He and his family later fled to the US as well after he was caught and confessed everything about his affiliation with gangs to the police, he served his time in 3 prisons where they labeled him as a gang member even though he specifically said he was not because he did not belong to anyone and if he had any affiliation it was because he had no other choice.
Many detainees without citizenship who have been imprisoned subsequently face double punishment through detention.When he was sent to the NWDC he requested to be closer to his family in Arkansas, ICE did not grant his request. He has two children who he has not seen since he has been locked up because they sent him far away. His mom is sick who required operation on her heart twice; she also has diabetes and issues with her cholesterol. Furthermore, his son has asthma. His family is in dire need of him while he worries about them as he is being locked up in inhumane conditions.
Rudy describes the conditions in the detention center as worse than prison. Although there have been minor improvements since the hunger strike, he explains how it is slowly going back to how it used to be like. The food individuals receive often have hair or foreign objects in it, they do not receive basic healthcare, and the cleaning at the facility is done very poorly such as changing the bed sheets every 3 months and are never given new clothing. A recent example, on July 15, 2023 GEO had stopped providing hand soap and stopped supplying soap for bathing to those who could not afford to purchase it from commissary. The GEO officer explained to Rudy, “ you all are financially dependent on La Resistencia, they help you with money to buy your things so we are not going to give you soap”. He argued that not everyone is financially dependent on organizations like La Resistencia - they are dependent on the system GEO and ICE have in place. Him and others were told their last resort was to use the foam soap that they normally use to wash their hands and use it for bathing. It is clear that the current system in place is designed to dehumanize and oppress those detained and not only are the conditions he described horrible, but it is psychologically detrimental.
Rudy’s message to the public:
“They mess with us psychologically, I need to take medication to be able to sleep because of the amount of stress one goes through in here. They make you into pieces in here, psychologically. I want people to know that the way ICE is portrayed in the media "that they treat us well" is all a lie, they mistreat us and they treat us like trash. And no one can say anything about it here because they will punish us by taking us to the hole, so we have to stay quiet and be humiliated.”
Why is this important?
Rudy currently has a lawyer who is fighting his deportation. He cannot be deported to El Salvador because “suspected gang members” with tattoos have been sent to jail and even tortured. Human rights watch expresses “In March 2022, the National Assembly declared a state of emergency and suspended basic rights in response to gang violence. Authorities committed widespread human rights violations, including mass arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment in detention, and due process violations.” Because of Rudy’s past forced affiliation with gangs and the fact tattoos are considered as an indication of gang affiliation in El Salvador, deporting Rudy would be a death sentence.
La Resistencia demands the release of Rudy and all those detained at the Northwest Detention Center. Rudy and everyone else detained are human beings who deserve to be respected and protected, and not be subjected to inhumane conditions inside the detention center. Rudy shouldn't continue to be criminalized for a crime he was coerced into due to the pervasive gang violence in El Salvador. Deporting him with the current system would be complicit in the ongoing systemic human rights abuses occurring in El Salvador. We should not permit Rudy to be deported by a system that marginalizes, strips people of their humanity, and labels them as criminals, he has a right to be free and be with his family. Please sign this petition to show your support for Rudy, and ask for him not to be deported and instead be released.