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On Friday, March, 23, ICE agents have scheduled Jaime Martinez Espinal for deportation — to be torn apart from his US citizen wife and four children.
Jaime is a fourteen-year resident of Manitowoc, Wisconsin who is the sole provider for his family. He has been detained by ICE for nearly a month. As senior White House officials head to Milwaukee this week for the White House Hispanic Community Action Summit, Jaime’s community is rallying around him to demand that the administration follow up on their promises to keep immigrants like Jaime at home. They have already begun change.org petition to draw widespread attention to his case, and held a prayer vigil to pray for Jaime’s safe return to his family
It was last summer that President Obama announced a new prosecutorial discretion policy, intended to provide some relief for undocumented immigrants in the United States by throwing out non-criminal cases so that authorities could prioritize the deportations of the worst, most violent immigrants. Yet seven months later, hardworking immigrants with US-born families are still being deported, including Jaime Martinez Espinal.
On a press call today, Jaime’s wife, a family friend, and his attorney discussed Jaime’s case and talked about how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is standing in the way of the enactment of President Obama’s prosecutorial discretion policy.
As Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Founding Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera said on the call:
The future of the Martinez family hangs in the balance. President Obama’s enforcement priorities are supposed to focus on dangerous criminals, not tear apart loving families. Jaime Martinez poses absolutely no threat to society. He is a dedicated father, husband, and active community member. The Martinez family exemplifies the urgent need for the Department of Homeland Security to immediately implement these new priorities and stop putting families in crisis.
The most poignant moments of the call by far, however, came during the emotional testimony of Jaime’s wife, Jennifer Martinez, who has spent countless sleepless nights waiting for her husband to come home and would give anything to have her family back together. “My home is broken, because of a system that is broken,” she said. “All my husband wants is to be able to love and provide for his family. The way he always has. My family isn’t whole until Jaime comes home.”
Please sign the petition to keep Jaime Martinez from being torn apart from his family and friends. Tell ICE that tearing a loving father apart from his family should not be a priority.