Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More on Monica

A brief update on our friend, Monica.

After events last Friday (see my post on Sunday, March 11, 2007), Monica and her first cousin, Jose, spent the weekend locked up in the Rolling Plains Regional Jail located in Haskell, Texas, north of Abilene, about 200 miles from her home here in Dallas.

Her parents and family have been frantic, to say the very least. All of us who know and love her and her parents joined them in a long, tough weekend.

Monday morning, thanks to an extremely generous donor and friend of CDM and this family, Monica and Jose were bonded out of the detention center.

If I reported the cost of the bond, you would be shocked. Two very fine high school seniors, far from criminals in any sense of the word, were forced to come up with an outlandish amount of money to secure their release while they await a hearing before an immigration judge.

After paying the bond in Dallas at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE--formerly Immigration and Naturalization Services), the same donor drove to Haskell and brought the two young people home on Monday evening.

So, last night rather late, we enjoyed a "reunion party" at the home of one of our CDM team members and her family who lives here in the neighborhood.

It was an amazing evening.

The love that flowed between the two families of these two wonderful young people touched me deeply. Lots of tears. Monica's father and Jose's father are twin brothers. The connection among all of the members of these two families is amazing to watch.

It was a powerful time, as all of us who are friends observed the tearful, j0yous reunion. And naturally, we enjoyed our share of hugs and tears and laughter all around as well!

When the initial welcoming was complete, we joined hands in a circle and we prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and we asked the Lord to bless Monica and Jose and their families. We prayed for an end to the current immigration insanity in our nation and our state. We asked God for a just, fair and equitable solution to our national hesitancy. We stood in solidarity, community and oneness, as an extended family. The fact that we were black, brown and white didn't matter to anyone. The fact that some of us spoke Spanish and some English and some both didn't matter either. We were all grateful to be together. We were proud to call each other "friend" and "amigo."

Afterwards, we all enjoyed a great meal and lots of fellowship.

It was a night I know I will never forget.

I'll have more to report in the days ahead. For now please know how much Monica, Jose and their family appreciate your concern.

I have a feeling that the story and experience of these two great teenagers may make a difference in the struggle to see a just plan for immigration reform enacted.

Things are not right in this nation today.

We must work for change.


Anonymous said...

What an awesome testimony to the power and love of the body of Christ!

Anonymous said...

As a Christian and someone who has in fact contributed to your ministry, I do feel for this girl and the situation. BUT, why was she skipping school(even on senior skip day) to go to a party and why didn't she have ID? I am not judging, rather simply stating that they may have been avoidable.
I grew up in a working poor family and remember tough times, while the ethnic families down the street got aid (although some were illegal). They worked under the table and got aid, while we got nothing even though my Dad worked hard for the same company for 34 years, rarely missing a day and paying his taxes. Because we were a Christian family that did not have drug/alcohol or other vie problems, no one was concerned about helping us because there was no social glamour to it or no extreme situation.

Larry James said...

Anonymous, thanks for your post.

All I can say is, had you been there last night and if you knew these people, all of your questions would be answered.

Anonymous said...

To the previous gentleman - kids make mistakes.I volunteer at CDM, there are always extreme situations, but nothing glamourous about the work.

Larry, my question is, how can we, (while respecting Monica's privacy)get our elected officials to answer for this, then change it?

I have written Kay Bailey-Hutchinson, Jeb Hensarling, and Tom Craddick, but I'm looking to do more.


Anonymous said...

Dallas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has worked to keep children from held in similar cases. The Texas Civil Rights Review that you referred to in the first post has stories about immigrant children from many different countries & situations.
http://texascivilrightsreview.org/phpnuke/ CBS 11 in Ft. aired story on 2/22/07 http://cbs11tv.com/local/local_story_052235552.html

Anonymous said...

To previous post: I read some of the stories on that link and what had been posted on other blogs, news site and web. Appalled, shocked and wondering why so many children are kept in such conditions.I am with those who want to speak up.I forwarded Larry's post, phoned several politicians and plan bring this to the attention of others.Thanks for the link to CBS news. Put away the apathy before it's too late!

Larry James said...

Thanks to each of you for your posts!

We are planning an aggressive response once Moncia and Jose are on firmer footing. Stay tuned. We will keep everyone informed as to how together we can respond with power and effectiveness.

Anonymous said...

"Things are not right in this nation today."

Boy have you got that right!! Truer words were never spoken. My THANKS to you and everyone involved.

Lynn Leaming said...

Thanks for sharing Monica and Jose's story! Thanks for letting us know the way the Lord intervened on their behalf. I will look foward to hearing the rest of the story.

rc_422 said...

I live in Dallas, but am a native of Haskell and most of my family still lives there.

You can contact the Haskell church of Christ if Monica or anyone else that you know ends up being jailed there. The local church has a prison ministry that would be able to get into the prison and see the prisoners.

I'm sure that they would be more than willing to send members to minister to your friends. The church would probably also help with housing for the family and friends.

Haskell church of Christ
510 N Ave E
Haskell, TX 79521
(940) 864-3101

Larry James said...

rc422, thanks for this information and offer! So very kind of you. I will remember it.

Anonymous said...

Hello i am very sorry for what happen to monica. i worked their in that same prison.i no who she is.very sweet lady.how can we help?

Larry James said...