Walking to Raymondville: Listening to Jay Johnson-Castro

With the sounds of traffic swooshing by him, and accompanied by John Neck, Ken Koym, and Juan Torres, Jay Johnson-Castro kept walking as he gave the following update via cell phone. The reference to the federal judge comes from Juan Castillo’s story below in which Austin Federal Judge Sam Sparks is quoted as saying convicted felons have more rights than immigrant detainees. Here is what Jay says on the morning of the Raymondville vigil, scheduled for 1:00 pm.–gm

A lot of my suspicion is being reconfirmed after talking to the attorneys and a couple of fellow journalists. The newspapers here are basically anti-immigrant and we are not going to get any coverage down here.
I asked them is it political? Are political favors being asked? One said yes. The other said it was more due to apathy. They just quit covering stuff like that.

Looking at the big picture with the T. Don Hutto prison in Taylor, and the Rolling Plains prison at Haskell, then coming down here, we’re making gains.

If a federal judge sides with common sense and moral values of grassroots America, I guess some of us feel we’re on the right page. But really this is not about legal or illegal, it’s about moral or immoral, conscionable or unconscionable. The fact we made gains on Hutto means that layer by layer we are going to peel the onion back and get to the core of this thing.

I have also heard that the International Educational Services (IES) school is more kindly than it was two years ago when it was under immigration authorities. The kids do rotate through every 2-3 months, but nobody knows where they go.

At Raymondville, the biggest concern of attorneys is the lack of food. And that’s a result of running these camps for profit. The people are in windowless cells 23 hours a day.

They agreed the greatest vulnerability to ICE was the children in Hutto as far as exposing the source of this human tragedy. Which brings us back to the prisons for profit concept, and how the guarantees of prison detention boosted the stock value of these companies.

This is a time of darkness in our country’s history. Hopefully, it will be better exposed. What will it take to trigger outrage. Smokestacks? Who cares enough to skip breakfast or their favorite tv program before they say the people running these camps should not be committing these crimes or even be in power. That’s where we are at in all reality.

I love the little letter from Thailand. If in other places people are feeling a sense of what we feel, I consider it an accomplishment itself. Now, when do we get these things shut down?

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