When Bus Coordinators encounter Immigration Issues:
The prisons will not allow anyone undocumented into the prison. Anyone undocumented will be arrested if they are on prison grounds. It is very important to know this and be careful not to bring anyone on the bus who is undocumented unless you have made arrangements with GOTB staff.
There are options:
Undocumented parents can sign a notarized letter giving another adult with proper documents permission to bring their child into the prison. The parent should be given the option of riding along on the trip in order to accompany their child. If undocumented parents are on the bus, GOTB staff must be notified since they are not allowed on prison grounds, and accommodations must be made for their safety. Families, as well as this agency, are very concerned about traveling from San Diego and being questioned at a checkpoint..
If someone from another country is visiting the US and will be available to bring his or her child they need a valid passport that is stamped to show they entered the country legally.
They will fill out a “Visitor Questionnaire Form” (106 Form) with the GOTB “home visit” volunteer.
If they are from Mexico, the prisons have an agreement with the Mexican Consulate only (no other countries have this agreement) that they can get a form of ID called a “Matricular Consulate Card.” This ID is good for only 60 days and provides the prison with a photo ID and background check.
If they are from any country other than Mexico, they need to provide a background check from a police station in their home country. Often, a relative back home can help with that process.
If someone is undocumented, but is the legal guardian of the child, they can sign and notarize a letter giving someone who is documented permission to accompany the child.
Resources for Bus Coordinators in the San Diego area:
Phone: (619) 231- 7788
Fax: (619) 231-7784
2760 Fifth Avenue, Suite 200
San Diego, California 92103-6325
Main Office: 349 Cedar Street,
San Diego, CA 92101
619 231- 2828
4575-B Mission Gorge Place
San Diego, CA 92120
619 287- 1270
241 Third Avenue
Chula Vista, CA 91910
619 498- 0722
250 West Orange
El Centro, CA 92243
760 370- 3914
1549 India St.
San Diego CA 92101
Tel: (619) 231- 8414
Fax: (619) 231-4802