On Friday, we received tragic confirmation that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported Pastor Max Villatoro to Honduras during the early morning hours.
While we weren’t ultimately successful in convincing ICE that this father of four U.S. citizens shouldn’t have been a priority for deportation, the support for Pastor Max amounted to nothing short of unprecedented.
Over 40,000 of signed petitions in his support. Dozens recorded videos asking President Obama to intervene, and hundreds more rallied the streets of downtown Iowa City. Then, last Thursday, 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.
Following last week’s heartbreaking news, Pastor Max’s wife, Gloria, sent a message to of thanks to all those who took action on her husband’s behalf. It follows below.
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
Read more about Pastor Max’s case here.