Dear Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility Board of Directors,
As people of faith and good conscience in Oregon, we are writing to ask you to immediately reinstate in-person family visitation at NORCOR. Many of us have the privilege and sorrow of accompanying the families that have been torn apart while federal comprehensive immigration reform stalls. We have seen firsthand the effects current visitation policy has had on both those who have been detained as well as the families left behind.
While we understand NORCOR is a four-county jail serving Wasco, Gilliam, Sherman, and Hood River counties, many of the people detained inside the facility come from outside of these four counties and belong to our churches, synagogues, and mosques in neighborhoods and cities throughout the rest of the state. As a matter of faith, we cannot stay silent on this important issue.
We carry with us the stories of mothers separated from their children, sons from their parents, and siblings longing to visit their sisters and brothers. We also carry with us the stories of those on the inside-- knowing that research indicates that in-person visits are directly linked to improved mental health.
As county commissioners, sheriffs, and judges, we know that you alone can’t fix a broken immigration system. Yet, as board members of NORCOR, you have the power to help alleviate some of the suffering these families experience. Please make the compassionate decision to reinstate in-person family visitation.
We look forward to being in touch.
Oregon’s Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ)
In relationship with over 125 diverse faith communities throughout Oregon, we are called by our conscience to respond actively and publicly to the suffering of immigrants in the United States.