Last week’s civil disobedience action where more than 100 women were arrested protesting for immigration reform is apparently already producing results, with the announcement that Holman Acosta—husband to Latin American Coalition leader Leisha Acosta, one of the women arrested—will be released from an immigrant detention center in Georgia. He has been granted a one year stay of removal, and will be reunited with his wife and family.
Leisha’s arrest was the culmination of a relentless push for her husband’s freedom. The massive campaign, mounted with the help of the Latin American Coalition, NC DREAM Team, United 4 The Dream, Familias Unidas, and national partner DreamActivist, included calls to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), a petition with thousands of signatures, consistent social media pressure, and two major actions: a vigil for Holman Acosta and his family in Charlotte last Tuesday and the act of civil disobedience by Leisha in Washington, DC two days later.
Last week, Leisha told the Charlotte Observer that she was forcing her arrest to support her husband, who has been held since last month after he was pulled over while driving his stepson home from a soccer game and found to be driving without a license. “I miss my husband,” she said.
Leisha herself is a US citizen who suffers from diabetes and depression. Due to the stress of Holman’s unnecessary detention, she has been losing sight in one of her eyes and is struggling to pay for her doctor bills. In order to make ends meet, Leisha rarely takes sick days and works through lunch to provide for her family. Without Holman’s income, Leisha is barely keeping her head above water. Holman and Leisha have three US citizen children, and Holman supports the family financially and emotionally. In Holman’s absence, one of Leisha’s sons has had to delay joining the U.S. Army to help care for the family.