As our girls played, Ruth and I chatted for about two hours. Ruth is working now and is making ends meet. She works two jobs, just like Oscar did before his unlawful detention. Ruth works at Chick-fil-a during the day while her girls are at school, then after picking the girls up from school she takes the girls with her to a doctor’s office where she does filing and makes patient contacts. It is not an ideal situation, but Ruth believes she will be able to keep up with her mortgage and bills.
Ruth and I also talked about how she came to the United States from Peru. She told me that she actually had no interest in coming to the U.S., but that her brother and another family member convinced and helped her fill out the paperwork for the immigration lottery. In the end, she ended up winning the lottery. We also talked about how Oscar came to the U.S. from Mexico and about good and bad coyotes.
Ruth also gave me an update about Oscar’s detention and court hearing. For now, Oscar continues to be held at Stewart Detention Center. He did not agree to do the voluntary departure and his next court date is June 25. Ruth was able to send Oscar a new bible, but his personal property and paperwork has never followed him since he was at Atlanta Detention Center. Oscar has taken a job in the kitchen at Stewart where he gets paid $3 for eight hours of work…which is institutional slavery, but it helps to pass the long hours behind the walls of the industrial prison complex. There is still the issue of this bond, and I am personally hoping Oscar can be released until his next hearing date.
Today, while most of us are at home with our families celebrating Christmas, Ruth is making the three hour drive from her house to Lumpkin, GA so her and the girls can spend a one hour visit with Oscar today and a one hour visit tomorrow, on Christmas day. Definitely a different kind of Christmas, and not one we would wish for ourselves.
Send a note of encouragement to Oscar:
Stewart Detention Center
146 CCA Road
Lumpkin, GA. 31815