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In Oregon, A Community Responds to Imprisonment of Migrants


Navneet Kaur, left, a volunteer interpreter with Innovation Law Lab, hands out towels and toiletries to Carlos Marroquin, right, after he was released from a nearby federal prison at the Dasmesh Darbar Sikh temple in Salem, Oregon, Oct. 3, 2018.

Dozens of area residents are volunteering to help immigrants taken to a federal prison in Oregon who were apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The detainees are among about 1,600 immigrants transferred to federal prisons in five states recently after President Donald Trump's “zero tolerance” policy left the usual facilities short of space.

Almost half of the 124 migrants sent to the prison outside rural Sheridan, Oregon, are from India, many of them Sikhs.

They also came from Nepal, Guatemala, Mexico and a dozen other countries.

Those who pass an initial screening and post bond are released.

A group of retirees, recent college graduates, lawyers, clergy and others from nearby Oregon communities have come together to help them.

The volunteers provide transportation, interpreters, legal counseling, food, shelter and moral support.

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