PRESS RELEASE: PROTEST AT 26 FEDERAL PLAZA IN NEW YORK TOMORROW TO KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER BY STOPPING LOW-PRIORITY DEPORTATIONS
At 11:30 am tomorrow at 26 Federal Plaza, our office will be hosting a protest on behalf of our clients and all immigrants who are detained and at risk of imminent removal from the United States even though their families will be destroyed and they are low priority as defined by the Obama administration.
The families of the three clients will be present at the protest and available for interviews to demonstrate how the Obama administration is destroying immigrant families while at the same time he promises comprehensive reform to keep these families together.
The administration manages to deport such large numbers of low-priority immigrants by reclassifying non-criminal, family men and women as “fugitives” or “egregious immigration violators” although these immigrants are only here because U.S. immigration laws are so draconian that they have left them with no other way to be with their children, spouses, or parents in the United States.
The stories of our three clients are below.
ICE’s New York Office of Enforcement of Removal has already denied one of our client’s request for prosecutorial discretion. The letter is inserted below.
Werner Arreaga (A # 098-897-297). Werner has been married to Nora, a U.S. citizen, since 2007. He has no criminal history and has widespread support from his community. He also has a U.S. citizen stepdaughter, Cindy, who is 12-years-old. His wife, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is from Chile and Werner is from Guatemala. If he is removed, Werner’s family will be permanently separated. Werner returned to the United States in 2006 because of gang violence. He was previously removed from from the U.S. in 2002.
Werner ended up in ICE custody when the NYPD pulled him over for an illegal U-turn. A search of his name showed that he has an outstanding order of removal. Even though all criminal charges against him were dismissed, New York City honored ICE’s detainer and turned this non-criminal, low-priority individual over to ICE custody for removal. He has been detained by ICE since February at the Bergen County Jail located in Hackensack, New Jersey.
On March 8, 2013, ICE’s New York Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations denied Werner’s request for prosecutorial discretion to remain in the United States with his family, even with the help of a petition from Dreamactivist. He may be removed any day now.
2. Oscar Jimenez (A # 098-897-297.) Oscar is the father of two beautiful 8-month-old U.S. citizen daughters, Ashley and Astrid. He is the sole financial provider for his girls. His wife does not work because she has to take care of her children. Oscar has no criminal history. He was picked up by ICE after the NYPD stopped him on his way home from work for having an open beer container. The police told Oscar that they would only issue him a ticket and asked for identification. Oscar only had his Honduras consular ID card. The police officers said that they had to bring him in because the foreign ID was not enough. When the police brought him to the station and ran his fingerprints, they discovered an outstanding ICE removal order from 2005. New York City honored ICE’s detainer even though all charges against Oscar were dismissed.
Oscar has been detained since February at Bergen County Jail and faces removal at any moment. If he is removed, his little girls will be without a father for their entire lives.
Juan Marcelino A # 077-753-369. Juan Marcelino is the father two to U.S. citizen children, Kelly and Stephen Marcelino Delgado, who are 11 and 9-years-old respectively. He is married to Rhina Delgado, who has Temporary Protected Status in the United States. Juan was arrested after it was discovered that the Bodega in which he worked was not properly selling cigarettes. Ultimately, Juan was only convicted of disorderly conduct, a non-criminal violation. Juan has been detained for months now pending a motion to reopen filed by a prior attorney that has little chance of success. Juan has an outstanding order of removal from 2003 and may be removed in the imminent future. He is currently detained at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny, New Jersey.
These three cases are a sobering snapshot into the world of the Obama administration’s removal machine. Although Mr. Obama has consistently purported to support immigrant families, his administration’s actions have proven his words to be lies.
This protest is to help stop the Obama administration’s coercive destruction of these three families and all others unfortunate enough to be ensnared by this arbitrary and unjust system.
Please come out and support them at 11:30 am at 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278.