Through Freedom for Immigrants and its local affiliate Faithful Friends, I have had the privilege to write to and visit Johalmo for the past 14 months. As a Family Nurse Practitioner committed to the health and well being of all people, in all places, this young 24-year-old man is one of the most moving patients I have ever met.
While living with his family in Oakland after fleeing gang violence in El Salvador, he was picked up by ICE and has been incarcerated in ICE detention at Yuba County Jail for the past 18 months.
This past spring, I was able to attend his immigration court hearing in San Francisco with his permission. The Immigration Judge advocated for his case to be given more time, had paperwork sent directly to him and ultimately decided that he should not be immediately deported. Through Freedom for Immigrants, we received information about Centro Legal de la Raza, a legal nonprofit that took on Johamo’s case for free.
Johalmo has been struggling with health care issues. Being a young man in a ward full of other men has become exceedingly difficult. His safety while incarcerated in this county jail has been compromised. This has caused him to have nightmares and not sleep well.
On October 10, 2018, the Immigration Judge has finally set an immigration bond for Johalmo, which has given him hope that he can return to live with his family, instead of staying in jail, while awaiting the resolution of his immigration case. It is particularly urgent to get him out because he currently has a painful, ruptured eardrum that he hasn’t been able to receive care for.
Please support Johalmo and his family for their hope and his health! 🌅🌅.
Sincerely, Julie Hettig, Family Nurse Practitioner
Illustration: “Touching the Dream” by Saad Tlaa in the Surviving Detention series of the Refugee Art Project. http://refugeeartproject.tumblr.com