My name is Kahlan Martin and I’m a volunteer
for the Dominican Family of Houston. We’ve organized a 24/7 vigil watch outside
the potential child detention center at 419 Emancipation Avenue. In order to
maintain this presence we’ve constructed a sign up sheet for any and all
willing to participate! This sign up sheet allows volunteers to sign up for 2
hour shifts most convenient to you. Please feel free to sign up for as many
slots as you’d like.
If you're scheduled for a shift, we're counting on you. If
you haven't been scheduled yet, please use this link to sign up.
FACT SHEET AND GUIDELINES
Organized by Dominican Family and Dominican Sisters of Houston, this vigil seeks to bear witness to the humanitarian crisis caused by current federal immigration policies. Over 2,000 children have been forcibly separated from the families at the southern US border. While the Trump Administration claims the crisis is over, the Executive Order opens the door to the immoral practice of detaining children indefinitely. It also does nothing to reunite the children already separated from their families. We will stand watch, pray, and witness at the proposed child detention facility in Houston as long as our conscience guides us to do so.
Dominican Family and Sisters request that all participants observe three simple guidelines:
- Prairie Street has limited visibility for motorists approaching in the lane next to the sidewalk. Please be mindful and stay out of the lanes of traffic.
- Please do not block the driveway. Doing so may result in a negative encounter with law enforcement.
- You may pray, reflect, meditate, observe or simply be present as you wish. Our Dominican charism calls us to pray in community together so this vigil is organized so no one is alone. Get to know your vigil partners and see what grows out that exchange, but please remember that you may observe as you wish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I heard the landlord doesn’t want separated children. Is that true?
A: While David Denenburg, the property owner, has said he doesn’t want to house children separated from their families, the only way he can avoid unjustly detaining immigrants, including children, at his property is to not lease to Southwest Key Programs or any other federal contractor.
Q: Trump signed an executive order ending family separation. What are we doing out here?
A: The executive order doesn’t end family detention. It actually seeks to detain families, including children, indefinitely. This is a moral outrage.
Q: How is this facility different than other already existing facilities in Houston?
A: Some believe that detaining any immigrant is wrong given our broken immigration system. It’s also important to understand how this facility is particularly problematic. Prior facilities were built to shepherd unaccompanied children who arrived here on their own into other care options, like foster care and family unification, as quickly as possible. This facility is only necessary because of the current administration’s previous practice of family separation and current practices of zero-tolerance and criminalizing seeking asylum. It is also anticipated that families, including children, will be locked up here indefinitely.