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Earlier this week, we wrote about Nury, a Connecticut mother of four who faced deportation this week after living in the US for more than two decades. After Nury was unable to win a stay of deportation, she took sanctuary in a New Haven church, where her state’s Governor Dan Malloy visited her last night.
Malloy said her case was proof that the Trump Administration is not being honest when it claims that its deportation policy focuses on “bad hombres”:
I am here to say this individual case is a wrong, but I am also very concerned that the greater wrong is when the American people are lied to about what their government is doing. If everything I have learned so far about this particular case bears up then we are being lied to about this case and apparently other cases, as well.
Nury had been checking in with ICE since 2010, had a work permit, and had no criminal record. She is being deported because her claims for asylum from Guatemala were denied, even though her father and brother’s requests were granted.
She has four US-citizen children, who range in age from 9 to 21. Her eldest has cerebral palsy and impaired motor skills; Nury doesn’t have anyone she could leave her children with if she is deported. Her US Senators, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, have asked ICE to let Nury stay with her family and both have said that they plan to continue to fight on her behalf.
In Florida, a 13-year-old American citizen is facing the deportation of both of his parents, after ICE said they didn’t recognize the permits issued under the Obama Administration.
Victor Chavez and his wife, Maty Carillo, have lived in Jupiter, Florida for 11 years and own a tire and auto repair shop. Neither have criminal records and both have been renewing their work permits – issued by ICE under the Obama Administration – for the last several years. Their middle-school-aged son, Jimmy, wants to become a biotech engineer.
But when Victor and Maty went to renew their work documents this year, ICE “just tossed the permits,” Maty said. Victor was detained while Maty was issued an electronic ankle monitor.
Immigration attorney Lourdes Casanova said about their case:
Under the Obama administration those with felonies on their records would be at the top of the list. Under the Trump administration it doesn’t matter if you pay your taxes or own your own business. What matters is that they came here undocumented.
Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican, has reportedly been notified about their case, but so far has only requested additional information.
In Arizona this week, ICE cruelly detained Phoenix pastor Antonio Velasquez just hours after they initially told him that his deportation would be stayed until his asylum case could be reviewed. Antonio’s lawyer said that ICE cited news coverage of the stay as a reason to go back on their decision.
Antonio has lived in the US since 1990, has three US-citizen children, and has no criminal record. He is the pastor of a Christian evangelical church and founder of an advocacy group that organizes youth soccer leagues aimed at preventing teenagers from getting into trouble.
Laurie Roberts, a columnist at the Arizona Republic, wrote yesterday a scathing op-ed about why the government felt the need to deport people like Antonio. Here’s how it begins:
Breathe, Arizona. We are saved.
President Donald Trump is moving to remove what surely must be a scourge from our midst.
On Wednesday, Antonio Velasquez was ordered to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and he was taken into custody Thursday to begin the process of deporting him.
So what dastardly deeds has he committed to require his removal after decades of living among us illegally?
What threat does this Guatemalan pastor pose?
Only our esteemed president knows for sure, I suppose.
As for the rest of us, we see a 45-year-old man who came here 27 years ago and proceeded to build a decent life, with a wife and three young children.
In Boston, more than 1,000 supporters rallied in support of an MIT janitor who has been in the US since 2006 and had a work permit since 2011. Francisco Rodriguez this week penned a heartbreaking letter from immigration detention in which he asked for help and wrote that he didn’t understand why he’d been detained. As he said:
I was told that if I did what ICE said, I would not have to be in jail. I believed them. I came when they told me and did what they said, but they took me. I do not understand why I am here.
Meanwhile, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, three representatives on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners spoke out against the coming deportation of Lourdes Salazar Bautista. Lourdes has lived in Ann Arbor for 20 years, has no record, and has three US citizen children – who would be left without parents if she is deported, as her husband was already deported several years ago. As the commissioners wrote to regional ICE director Rebecca Adducci:
Mrs. Bautista’s children have already lost their father to deportation and would be deeply harmed by the loss of their mother. Mrs. Bautista is well-respected by all who know her here in our community, where she and her children have established strong ties.
We ask that you consider using your discretion to grant Mrs. Bautista a stay of removal so that she can not only continue contributing to the Ann Arbor community, but more importantly, keep her family together.
Lourdes’ state Representative, Adam Zenke, has also written a letter of support.