Volunteering With CAIR

January 13, 2010

Back at the beginning of November I went down to D.C. for a day and participated in a training with CAIR Coalition. Yesterday I joined CAIR on their monthly visit to the Howard County detention center. Here I volunteered by doing intakes, a process that entails gathering information about new detainees, or detainees that have never spoken with a CAIR representative. After asking some basic questions, and learning a little bit about a person’s story, CAIR is then able to assess an individual case, evaluating whether or not they are able to get involved.

As I entered the detention center I was unsure of what to expect. I wound up doing no intakes, but rather answering questions for people, and simply engaging in conversation. It is hard to describe what I thought or felt while I was there. Perhaps for now the word “heavy” would best reflect my time at the detention center.

This experience serves as yet another example to me of how badly our country needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Systems are slow, unjust, and inefficient. Innocent people are criminalized and left feeling helpless and alone.

I am thankful for my interaction with CAIR and will continue to volunteer with them, perhaps on a trip down to a larger facility in Virginia next time. They are doing important and necessary work in the world. If you live in the D.C. area and are interested in volunteering or getting involved, visit their website to find out more.

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