Yesterday, we received this tragic confirmation: ICE deported Pastor Max Villatoro to Honduras during the early morning Friday hours.
We, like Pastor Max’s family and his Iowa community, are heartbroken by the news.
But we also remember that though we ultimately weren’t successful in convincing ICE that this father of four U.S. citizens shouldn’t have been a priority for deportation to begin with, your support for Pastor Max amounted to nothing short of unprecedented.
Over 40,000 of you signed petitions in his support. Dozens recorded videos asking President Obama to intervene, and hundreds more rallied the streets of downtown Iowa City. Then, yesterday morning, came news that nearly 400 faith leaders signed a letter asking for an emergency meeting with ICE officials to ask for Pastor Max’s release.
We’ve never seen anything like it, and we thank you.
In the coming weeks, we’ll have more news about what’s next for Pastor Max and his family, and we hope we can keep counting on your support.
Finally, and most importantly, we received this beautiful message of thanks from Pastor Max’s wife, Gloria. We asked her if we could share it with you all, since you were so instrumental in bringing Pastor Max to the attention of the nation. And thankfully, she agreed.
Without a doubt we are sad because of Max’s deportation. But I want to thank each of you for all the hard work you have done on our behalf. Thank you for supporting my family. So many of you, without knowing us, have done everything within your power to avoid Max’s deportation.
Thank you for all your efforts– for the calls, the letters, the signatures, the prayers, the songs, the caring thoughts lifted on our behalf.
Even though they’ve deported Max, we’ve come to know a community that is united, that can raise a great voice when we witness injustice. We must keep moving forward and see what God has next for us.
I am so grateful for all of your support.
Trusting in God,
for the children, too- Anthony, Edna, Angela, and Aileen