With High Risk of Violence Lurking in Honduras, Pastor Max’s Attorney Makes Plea for Man’s Life
Today, Pastor Max Villatoro’s new immigration lawyers, David Wolfe Leopold and Associates, filed an emergency motion to reopen his deportation case with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Pastor Max has been detained in various immigration centers since last week, moved from his home in Iowa to Louisiana, and faces imminent deportation to his native Honduras.
When David Leopold took on the case, he learned that Max’s relatives in Honduras have been victims of murder, assault, and threats due to the ongoing violence in that country. With Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seemingly committed to carrying out Max’s deportation, Leopold was forced to file an emergency motion in pursuit of his client’s liberty and to protect his life.
Said Attorney David Leopold, “If Pastor Max Villatoro is deported to Honduras not only will his family, church, and community be devastated, but his life will literally be in danger. Pastor Max’s cousin was murdered, and his nephew was shot. His nephew fled to the United States because of these horrific abuses. I filed this emergency motion today because Max’s deportation is imminent and I cannot stand by and watch the Government deport a man to his death.”
News articles (in Spanish) and information about the Villatoro family’s persecution in Honduras is available to news media upon request.
The community outcry against Pastor Max’s deportation has been profound, as his wife Gloria and four U.S. citizen children have been joined by numerous religious leaders, Iowa residents, and advocates from across the country in calling on ICE to stop this unjust deportation. More than 40,000 individuals have taken action on Max’s behalf. And this evening, youth community leaders and faith, labor, and community allies are hosting “March with Max’s Family,” where they’re speak out against the separation of families and calling on ICE to stop this deportation (follow @CwjIowacity and @mistyrebik for updates).
“This latest development is just further proof that Pastor Max is not, in any way, a priority for deportation. He is not a threat to public safety or security, a factor outlined in the new DHS priorities memo. In fact, it’s Max who faces a threat to his security if deported to a country mired in violence. What kind of system puts a dedicated father of four U.S. citizens and the husband of a DACA-mented wife on a merciless conveyor belt of deportation? This is a tragedy waiting to happen,” Leopold added.