My name is Fahd K. I am an immigrant. I encountered ICDI when I was in immigration detention. I was detained for approximately 3 years while I fought my case for deferral of removal under the United Nation's Convention Against Torture (UNCAT). I am thankful to the people of the United States for their protection under this convention which provides vulnerable ones a safe place of refuge. And I am grateful to ICDI for their unconditional love for immigrants; their support during detention and after detention with many services.
ICDI is not simply helping immigrants; it is also doing a great service to the country. Helping immigrants is an investment in the future of America and society itself. The US is largely an immigrant nation. Compassionately helping people to integrate into this society will yield grateful individuals with positive attitudes toward American society and who will be the new patriots! Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple, is the son of a Syrian. President Barak Obama is the son of a Kenyan. Fazlur Rahman Khan, structural engineer for the John Hancock Center and Willis Tower, is an immigrant from East Pakistan, present day Bangladesh. You may read more about iconic American figures that were immigrants at: https://time.com/4108606/history-american-immigrants/
In the Christian tradition (Matthew 35:31-46) we are taught that when we give something to eat to someone who is hungry, we are doing it for Christ. We are taught to give drink to those who are thirsty; invite the stranger into our home; clothe the person who has no clothes; care for the sick, and not least, visit those in prison. In so doing we minister to Christ. ICDI does all these things.
Their simple visits to me and others brought so much joy that it cannot be explained or felt unless one finds him/herself in the detainees' shoes. Their visit was a window to a refreshing garden that brought in fresh, fragrant air.
I am very thankful to all who came to visit the detainees, especially Sister Jan Gregorcich and Jean Engel. Grateful also for Pam Shearman and Ed Pratt and their utmost efforts and support for detained immigrants.
May God (as you may understand God) allow me to contribute to ICDI's work, services, and efforts. These acts are godly and angelic! I urge you to support ICDI so they can continue doing these holy works. They are not doing this for few but for all, regardless of one’s nation of origin or immigration status.
My name is Antonio Tarajano. I am a Cuban citizen who was granted Political Asylum by this great nation that is the United States of America. Here, I have had the pleasure of meeting excellent people who have given me their unconditional support; such as: Arleen Praire, Melanie Schikore and Pam Shearman from the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants in Chicago (ICDI). Ms. Melanie Schikore, the Executive Director of the ICDI said and I quote: “Many of the people of the world have traveled far from their homes with faith, hope and courage to escape unimaginable hardships and terrors. We ask, that all levels of government, religious communities and organizations work with a spirit of compassion and cooperation so that they receive all the attention, welcome they need and resources for their food, shelter, medical care and personal needs”. I sincerely thank to ICDI for all they have done since my arrival and they embody the quote I just write. José Martí, Cuba’s national hero, once said people went around the world in two groups, one for those who love and build and another for those who hate and undo. I am fully convinced ICDI loves and helps people like me, immigrants, refugees within a psychological trance of internal and external nature, of readjustment of our existence, rebuilding our lives in a different scenario. The challenges that I now face are multiple. The context is geographically, culturally, socially, economically, and linguistically different, changed. But my main challenge is to not stop loving. Thank you, ICDI for teaching me that first and most valuable lesson. Count on my eternal gratitude.