• Jane Juffer

Please tell everyone you know...

(Note from Jane: Up to this point, Elisabeth and I have tried to keep her location and identity relatively unknown. However, at this point, Elisabeth has decided she wants everyone to know that she is being held at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia, NY because the situation there is so awful. She feels discriminated against for not speaking English and for being an immigrant and wants the news media to know about it. She also fears for her life and hopes that publicity could provide some measure of protection.)

September 30, 2020

With all due respect, I am asking all of you to help me. I need all of you to help me because I had to leave my country because they threatened to kill me, and I came to this country to ask for help and protection. But here, they are taking away my life. The officials here pay more attention to the women who speak English. With them, they are friendly and attentive to everything they say. But if I do exercises, watch television, sit at the table, laugh, or have a friendship with a companion, they get mad at me and speak badly to me in English. If I have a friendship that makes me happy, these women do what they can to cause problems with this friendship and then tell the officials that I am the problem. These are all lies. I feel powerless because I cannot speak English in order to defend myself.

On September 29, one official came to my bunk and asked me--why didn't you set up the chairs? I told him, with respect, official, I alone cannot set up all the chairs around the tables because there are so many. We all need to help. The official told me that I needed to do it alone, and I repeated that it was not my responsibility. My responsibility, I said, is to empty the trash cans, which I do at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and at 10 p.m. For doing this, I get paid $1 a day. I do this so I can buy some soup from the commissary. Also because if I don't work, you don't let me watch television or use the microwave, the toaster oven, or the tablet. Really, if we don't work, we don't have the right to do anything. They don't respect the rights of immigrants here. I'm really just telling you a little bit of what happens in Batavia, NY.

I'm letting you know what happens here inside because if anything happens to me, or if I die, I hold responsible the officials of the Buffalo Batavia Detention Facility.

Thank you for listening to me.

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