FOCD In the News

UC Irvine students perform the stories of immigration detainees held in Orange County jails
Los Angeles Times - February 14, 2019
In Uganda, Johnson Niwagaba faced prosecution and life in prison for being gay. Ostracized by his family, and fearing for his safety, Niwagaba fled to the United States seeking asylum. He ended up in an Orange County jail.
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National debate about immigrant detainees leads to a swell of OC volunteerism
Los Angeles Times - July 19, 2018
This summer Sandy Lillard started losing sleep. A lawyer from Laguna Niguel, Lillard had always been interested in immigration issues, but when the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy was rolled out in April, leading to the separation of thousands of immigrant and asylum-seeking parents from their children, she realized she had to do something to support these families.
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Stepping up to help L.G.B.T. migrants
New York Times - July 16, 2018
Violence in Central America has brought thousands of L.G.B.T. migrants to the United States border to seek asylum in recent years, hoping to find protection from persecution over their gender identity and sexuality.
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You have a visitor
Orange Coast Magazine - December, 2017 (pdf)
After an arduous and dangerous journey from Honduras, a request for asylum at the border in San Diego, and two lonely months at an immigrant detention center in Irvine, the young woman is finally free.
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Local humanitarian group comforts asylum seekers
Orange County Register - October 28, 2016
They call her Ghana Mama. Ellen DeYoung of Laguna Niguel has become the lifeline for many of the African asylum seekers who are detained in local jails waiting for court hearings. She is one of about 50 volunteers from the Mission Viejo humanitarian group Friends of Orange County Detainees, whose members each year make more than 1,200 visits to detainees at James A. Musick Facility in Irvine, the Santa Ana Jail in Santa Ana and the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange.
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Group lends an ear and a helping hand to detainees
Los Angeles Times - December 12, 2015
Bev Huff had never thought much about immigration, only what she read in newspapers or heard on TV. "I could see both sides of it," the Lake Forest resident said. "It wasn't an issue I had decided on."
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Immigrant detainees; tales revealed to visitors
Orange County Register - June 7, 2013
The first story, like so many stories Jan Meslin would hear at the immigrant detention center in Irvine, was hard to follow, and Meslin didn't know how much of it was true. But that didn't matter. What mattered was the connection.
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