Faith and Immigrant Advocates Hold Vigil for Immigrant Mom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 2017

CONTACT:
John Garcia, Director of Communications, jgarcia@latinojustice.org, (212) 739-7513, (917) 673-9095
FERNANDA DURAND, CASA, fdurand@wearecasa.org, (240) 706-2624

WHO: CASA, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Sanctuary DMV and PICO National

WHEN: 11 a.m. TODAY. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2017.

WHERE: 31 HOPKINS PLAZA, BALTIMORE, MD

WHAT: BALTIMORE (FEBRUARY 27, 2017) - Faith and immigrant-rights advocates will hold a vigil and press conference at 11 a.m. Monday, February 27, in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Baltimore office as we await the outcome of a decision that could rip a mother of four away from her family.

As the Trump Administration pursues its agenda to instill fear and uncertainty in the lives of immigrants through raids, unlawful detentions, deportations and the elimination of due process, advocates are uniting to protect the most vulnerable among us.

“The Trump administration is waging war on immigrants,” said CASA’s Executive Director Gustavo Torres. “We are not going to stand by as the federal government unleashes its fury on immigrants who only wish to provide a better life for their children. People who care for the values on which this country was founded will join hands and resist.”

In this as well as many other cases, people who have been temporarily allowed to stay in the country are now plagued by fear that when they show up for their regular ICE appointments they will be arrested on site and be deported.

CASA, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Sanctuary DMV and PICO National have come together to join in prayer and support of this Maryland mother as well as many other immigrant families.

“The threat looming over this mother of four is not unique,” said PICO’s Immigration Policy Director, Richard Morales. “Like her, thousands of immigrant families are terrorized by the fear of being ripped apart by deportation. There’s a systemic effort underway, not only in Maryland but nationwide, to hunt down as many immigrants as possible; to capture and deport them regardless of familial ties and valuable contributions to our nation. The Trump Administration has made clear it will hunt down valued members of our community, our friends and our families, but we will not stand idly by and allow this cruelty.”

This mother has been allowed to stay in the United States temporarily, in part because she is the plaintiff in a civil rights case against a Maryland law enforcement based on that agency’s unconstitutional racial profiling of her. It is exactly this type of illegal activity which the immigrant community now fears, as President Trump seeks to enlist local police in the indiscriminate enforcement of our broken immigration system. Unfortunately, this mother has not been granted any permanent protection from deportation and is at immediate risk at the hands of ICE.

“This mother of four has not committed or been charged with any criminal activity in the almost 12 years she has resided in the United States,” said LatinoJustice PRLDEF Associate Counsel Joanna Cuevas. “She is the primary caretaker of three minor dependent U.S. citizen children and a dependent minor legal permanent resident child, and has a credible fear of persecution if she is returned to El Salvador, which she fled as a victim of extreme domestic violence. She clearly does not pose any threat to the community or national security, and in fact, her civil rights case works to uphold all of our constitutional rights as a matter of national security. For all of these reasons, we urge the USCIS and ICE to send the right message that they will not punish individuals who seek to vindicate their constitutional rights and uphold the U.S. Constitution, by granting her Stay of Removal."

CASA, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Sanctuary DMV and PICO National have vowed to stay in front of the ICE offices as long as it takes to get this woman back home to her family as she awaits her trial.

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