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Cleveland, OH – Today’s scene at the airport was sadly familiar: family members, supporters, and media crowding around a long-term local resident as she said her final good-byes and forced herself to walk to the Delta gate to be deported. People crying. Signs demonstrating against government separation of American families. And the strength of one person forced to leave behind everything that she knows and loves and walk onto that plane.
Both Lourdes and Jesus had been allowed to live in the United States under stays of deportation for several years. Both attended ICE “check-ins” and renewed their work permits every year without delay. Both have sacrificed for their U.S. citizen children, who would have better opportunities in the United States than in Mexico. Both felt their lives collapse in March 2017 when they reported to their local ICE office and were told that their time was up. They were given a short window to get their affairs in order, and then get on a plane to leave the United States.
Lourdes and Jesus have another thing in common: the person who deported them. Her name is Rebecca Adducci, and she is the Director of the Detroit ICE Field Office.
After eventually applying prosecutorial discretion as instructed under the Obama Administration – even signing Jesus’ Order of Supervision that allowed him to stay legally in 2012 – Adducci has done a complete 180. It was her agents who ate breakfast at an Ann Arbor restaurant,complimented the chef, and then walked into the kitchen to demand papers of the staff. It is her agency that is attempting to deport Iraqi Christians to their death. It is her agency that is deporting moms and dads like Lourdes and Jesus, who have been complying with all the requirements placed on them by her agency and contributing so much to their families and communities.
Said Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice:
When the media describes ICE as newly “unshackled” and unleashed upon the broader community, they are describing Rebecca Adducci. The people being deported from Ohio and Michigan, their spouses and children, and all Americans outraged by these heartless deportations need to know her name. She has the power to make different decisions, but instead she’s relishing in her newfound freedom to destroy families one by one. Ms. Adducci is a public figure, and we pay her salary. The outpouring of support for Lourdes and Jesus make it clear that many Americans oppose these indiscriminate deportations, and do not want them carried out with our tax dollars and in our names. She needs to know this.
Last week, President Trump came to Youngstown and claimed that the immigrants his agency is deporting are “animals” who like to “slice and dice” Americans.
Adducci and others in the Trump Administration are using this inflammatory, fearmongering language as a cover to deport anyone and everyone they come across. A leaked February memo shows that in fact, the agency’s policy is one of unrelenting, indiscriminate mass deportation.
If what Trump said in Youngstown was true, and his agency was only deporting bad people, no one would have a problem with it. Clearly, that’s not the case. Jesus and Lourdes are honest, hardworking people who had built families and lives here. This is their home. Instead of focusing on deporting bad people, Adducci is deporting Lourdes and Jesus from their homes. It’s shameful and un-American.
For more on Lourdes Salazar Bautista and the community that rallied behind her in Michigan, visit the #LuchaPorLourdes Facebook page here.
For more on Jesus Lara Lopez’s case, see the America’s Voice website here.