By: Victoria Law, Truthout
Across the U.S., people in prison are hoping for compassion — and clemency — allowing them to rejoin their loved ones.
Sixty-three-year-old Lazara Ordaz has spent the past 24 years behind bars on a 35-year federal prison sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. “I have missed over two decades of births, birthdays, Thanksgivings and Christmases which I will never get back,” Ordaz told Truthout.
In 2020, as COVID-19 ripped through prisons, Ordaz applied for home confinement under the CARES Act.
As Truthout previously reported, prison officials told Ordaz that her age, thyroid condition and high blood pressure qualified her for home confinement. Her case manager began her paperwork, then stopped because Ordaz, who arrived from Cuba in 1980, had an immigration detainer, which meant Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would place her in detention upon her release from prison.