Samantha A. Miller is a volunteer at Amica Center and an attorney with Zuckerman Spaeder.

“Recently, I joined [Amica Center’s] staff and volunteers on a trip to an immigration detention facility in Caroline County, Virginia. Seeing how our country detains people caught up in the immigration system wasn’t easy for me. Immigration detention is, essentially, jail. Immigrants sleep in cells, wear jumpsuits, and are denied even the most basic autonomy, such as when to wake up and when to go to the bathroom. What’s worse is that many people are kept in the dark about how long they will be locked up and what will happen next.

But there is room for optimism. During that trip to the detention center, I was inspired by the work of [Amica Center] staff and volunteers. [Amica Center] staff had spent days in this remote part of Virginia, meeting with detainees and gathering the information necessary to connect folks with counsel. They were empathetic, professional, and deeply knowledgeable. The volunteers blew me away, too. Individuals from all walks of life—students, retirees, working adults—donated their time and energy to helping those ensnared in the immigration system.

Despite all the pain, I left the detention center feeling hopeful. [Amica Center] performs essential work, and they do it well. I am honored to be a supporter of [Amica Center].”