Joint Effort to Help Immigrants

immigration presentationApproximately 75 people from Putnam and the surrounding towns braved the inclement weather and gathered at the Provincial House gymnatorium on the evening of September 10th to participate in an evening of education and action suggestions to assist our Latino neighbors who want to come to the United States to earn a living in order to be able to provide basic needs for their families who either come with them or remain across the border.

The presentation, organized by the Daughters of the Holy Spirit and the Putnam Interfaith Council featured a documentary film explaining graphically the issues, the despicable conditions and the suffering and numerous deaths suffered by women, children and men who attempt to cross the southwestern borders from Mexico into the USA.

The film was immediately followed by a first-hand report by DHS Associate Mrs. Connie Knowles and Sr. Yvette Rainville who had the opportunity a few months ago to witness up close and personal the dangerous trails these hopeful individuals must trek, the lack of water, the unforgiving sun and heat and the callous and inhumane treatment at the hands of US border patrols. Their presentation underlined the fact that the majority of the prisons or detention centers in which illegal immigrants are held are operated by for-profit private businesses that contract with the federal government (our tax dollars) in a system that is based on a simple equation: the more prisoners they have, the more money they make. These detention centers have few rules and regulations to mitigate the kind of treatment allotted to the prisoners yielding near abominable conditions in a climate of physical and verbal abuse.

The obvious question from the captivated audience was what can we do to end this inhumane treatment of our fellow human beings?  Sr. Bonnie Morrow responded clearly that the best means to be heard is to bombard our congress people and representatives through letters expressing our condemnation of this behavior and suggesting alternatives. Letters, snail and e mail, may also be sent directly to the White House via provided addresses. The more noise we make, the better the odds of our being heard.

For more information about this program and how you can join the effort to resolve this abhorrent situation you may contact Sr. Connie Charette: You may also click on this link to print out a sample letter to send to your representatives in Washington to eliminate private prison companies.

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