Two Trips to Sheridan

I did not expect to travel to The Federal Detention Center in Sheridan twice in six days. Monday, June 18th, was a vigil to support the 123 detainees, two of whom have now been transferred due to health conditions. It was a beautiful warm, summer day.I did not know what to expect; the crowd was large and I saw many UUCS congregants. The vigil was well organized, with prayers, songs, speeches, and chants. I knew I was in the right place: supporting justice and the freedom to seek asylum, the right to due process, and the right to know where your families are.

The Sunday worship service was wonderful, with an emphasis on love: true love, sincere love, inclusive love, just and peaceful love.

It is difficult to see the men in the windows without wondering – are they being treated with respect, with kindness? Do they have clean clothes, decent food, adequate space and privacy for personal hygiene?

I see the guards walking around, communicating with each other, and wonder what is in their hearts. I see the Trump supporters on the way out, being superficially polite, telling everyone to drive safely, and I do not look at them, I feel sick.

I find it difficult to sleep, wondering how these men seeking asylum, their spouses, their children are faring.How do they cope and are they able to sleep? I know I am connected in the most human way. I hurt because they are hurting. My presence is the only gift I can give and it is not enough.

Sincerely, and with love for all,

Link to pictures from Sunday, June 25