Call Me Libertad: Poems Between Borders – April 24, 2016
by Alicia Partnoy (Editor), Christina Fialho (Editor), Kristina Shull (Editor)
Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act on April 24, 1996, ushering in an era of mass detention and deportation of immigrants. Over the last two decades, the immigration detention population has increased fourfold to approximately 34,000 per day, making the United States the largest immigration detention regime in the world.
In this book that offers a new perspective in the debates around immigrant rights and incarceration, former and current people in immigration detention, their family members, and allies describe the horrifying reality of our current immigration detention system. The book also shows humanity a better version of itself through poems and artwork filled with hope and dreams of solidarity. This book is an effort to liberate our country’s political imagination and to remind us all of our capacity for deep compassion for our fellow human beings.
Praise for our Book:
“As this volume attests through the power of poetry, immigration detention in the United States is an affront to human dignity. Let the beauty, sadness, the humanity, and the dignity that is captured in these pages be a part of the long struggle to end immigration detention.”
~Alison Parker, Co-director, US Program, Human Rights Watch
“There is no justification for the extreme isolation immigrants in detention face in this country. When I was isolated for 410 days as a political prisoner in Iran, the only thing that made me feel like I could survive was knowing that I was not forgotten on the outside. This book reminds all people in detention and their families that they are not alone, and they are not forgotten. Even more, the collective power of these voices shines a light of hope on a dark, unjust practice.”
~Sarah Shourd, CIVIC Ambassador & Editor of Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement
“Poets & Writers is pleased to have provided support for the CIVIC writing workshop that helped bring the stories and poems of immigrants formerly detained and their allies to light. The telling and transmission of these experiences plays a vital role in bringing about understanding, change, and the reaffirmation of human dignity.”
~Jamie Asaye FitzGerald, California Office and Readings & Workshops (West) Director, Poets & Writers, Inc.
“CIVIC’s work is crucial because it provides a platform for people whose voices have been silenced and it helps tell the stories of the millions of human beings who have been detained and subjected to a broken and inhumane system. This compelling book will make you dream of a better country, a better world without immigration detention.”
~Sara Weiss, CIVIC Board Member & Senior Editor at Ballantine Books, Random House