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For Immediate Release

Media Contact

Sergio Tabora
Cell: (910) 584-3318 or (919) 559-4232

Benson Pastor and Community Leader Detained Despite Medical Condition, Facing Deportation
Vigil Planned for this Evening

Benson, NC – Pastor Jose Armando Siliezar-Sevilla, leader of the Ministerio Internacional El Verbo en Accion, and father of a 15-year-old U.S. citizen is detained at Mecklenburg County Jail charged with having lied on an application for adjustment of his immigration status. But Pastor Jose Armando was only doing what his attorney advised him, without questioning him. The family last heard from Pastor Jose Armando 3 weeks ago. He was diagnosed with diabetes after a wound on his foot got infected while in detention. The Benson community, his church, and family and friends are calling for the release of Pastor Jose Armando as he needs treatment not detention.

On June 3rd, 2014 immigration officers knocked on his door at 6 in the morning and handcuffed him in the presence of his family, including his US citizen son Jozmar who is depressed since the detention of his father.

A community vigil is planned for this evening.

What: Vigil and rally

Where: The Grove Park

Address: 406 E. Main St. Benson, NC

Time: 7 pm

We invite members of the press to join us and interview Pastor Jose Armando’s family.

Pastor Jose Armando first came to the United States in 1989 looking for a better life and settled in California. There he worked as a construction worker but the money wasn’t enough to pay the bills. Desperate to make ends meet, he became involved in drug dealing. In 1993, he was charged and convicted of drug possession and served time for two and a half years. After completion of his time in state prison, he was deported to Mexico despite being a Honduran National. That same year, Armando returned to the United States with his mind set on a better life based on the word of God. For the past 17 years, Pastor Armando has been a religious mentor and beloved community leader in Benson, North Carolina.

For more information on Pastor Jose Armando’s case, visit the online petition at http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/armando/.

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For Immediate Release
 
Media Contact
 
Sergio Tabora
 
 
Benson Pastor and Community Leader Detained Despite Medical Condition, Facing Deportation
Vigil Planned for Wednesday Evening
 
Benson, NC – Pastor Jose Armando Siliezar-Sevilla, leader of the Ministerio Internacional El Verbo en Accion, and father of a 15-year-old U.S. citizen is detained at Mecklenburg County Jail charged with having lied on an application for adjustment of his immigration status. The family last heard from Pastor Jose Armando 3 weeks ago. He was diagnosed with diabetes after a wound on his foot got infected while in detention. The Benson community, his church, and family and friends are calling for the release of Pastor Jose Armando as he needs treatment not detention. 
 
On June 3rd, 2014 immigration officers knocked on his door at 6 in the morning and handcuffed him in the presence of his family, including his US citizen son Jozmar who is depressed since the detention of his father.
 
A community vigil is planned for tomorrow.
 
What: Vigil and rally
 
Where: Iglesia Internacional El Verbo en Accion
 
Address: 105 E. Main St. Benson, NC
 
Time: 7 pm
 
We invite members of the press to join us and interview Pastor Jose Armando’s family.
 
Pastor Jose Armando first came to the United States in 1989 looking for a better life and settled in California. There he worked as a construction worker but the money wasn’t enough to pay the bills. Desperate to make ends meet, he became involved in drug dealing. In 1993, he was charged and convicted of drug possession and served time for two and a half years. After completion of his time in state prison, he was deported to Mexico despite being a Honduran National. That same year, Armando returned to the United States with his mind set on a better life based on the word of God. For the past 17 years, Pastor Armando has been a religious mentor and beloved community leader in Benson, North Carolina.
 
For more information on Pastor Jose Armando’s case, visit the online petition at http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/armando/.
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Dreamer’s Day 2014: Pathways to Education for Immigrant Youth

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Parents and students are invited to attend this special event. Speakers from the NC Dream Team will come to share their own personal stories navigating the U.S. education system. You will also learn about unique resources and scholarship opportunities available to immigrant youth!

Date: April 28, 2014

Location: Sallie B. Howard School Auditorium – 1004 Herring Ave. Wilson, NC

English Q&A Panel 2:00 pm

Spanish Q&A Panel 6:00 pm

Your child does not need to be a student at Sallie B. Howard School in order for you to attend.  Questions? Please contact Angelica Contreras (for Spanish translation), Georgina Barbosa (for Spanish translation), Kate Donohue or Hannah Smoot at (252) 293-4150.

Earlier today we submitted a complaint to ICE regarding the bullying and intimidation NC Dreamer Felipe Mendoza (A# 206-252-347) is suffering while detained at Otay Detention Facility. Read below for the full statement: 

To Whom It May Concern:
 
The NC Dream Team has been in contact with the family of Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza (A# 206-252-347), who is, presently, detained at the Otay Detention Facility in San Diego, California. Felipe is awaiting a response regarding his request for asylum. 
 
Felipe is, currently, suffering bullying and harassment by detention center staff. His family in Durham, North Carolina is very concerned for his physical and mental well-being. We are filing this complaint regarding the treatment Felipe is receiving in detention, which goes against Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detention guidelines. 
 
Felipe suffered intimidation and bullying from detention center staff on Friday, April 4th, 2014 when he was called outside of his cell. Officer Perry, Manager of Unit BG at the Otay Detention Facility called Felipe, in addition to two other detainees, out of their rooms and asked if they were gay. When Felipe and the others said yes, Officer Perry went on to insult them. Officer Perry yelled that the detainees were touching each other based on accusations by Officer M. Carini. Felipe denied the allegations and asked for proof. (The detention facility is equipped with surveillance cameras that can reveal what transpired.) Officer Perry, however, got louder, told Felipe to shut up and stop talking and threatened to put him and the other detainees in solitary confinement. Since that day, Felipe is afraid and anxious of being sent to isolation for being gay, the very reason he is requesting asylum in the first place. 
 
ICE has full knowledge of Felipe’s sexual orientation and the bullying, intimidation and harassment he has experienced in Mexico and is seeking refuge from. Testimony of this has, already, been provided in his credible fear interviews. To continue with his detention at this time without addressing the treatment he has received by staff at the Otay Detention Facility is a serious violation of human rights.
ICE has yet to issue a response. In the meantime, Felipe fears being sent to solitary confinement or another form of retaliation. This is a call to any and all organizations in North Carolina who stand for the rights of those who identify as LGBT. Felipe needs your help. You can call his sister Evelynth at (919) 884-5316 or email her at evelynth07@gmail.com. The family is currently seeking statements of support from various organizations as well as the support of their congressman, GK Butterfield. To date, Congressman Butterfield has also failed to support Felipe’s plight back home to Durham, North Carolina. Read more details about Felipe’s story and sign the petition online at http://action.dreamactivist.org/bringthemhome/northcarolina/felipe/

Support the Keny Fund online at http://www.gofundme.com/thekenyfund.

Starting at 10 am, Keny and supporters will be selling delicious Honduran tamales in Durham!

Venue: Cocoa Cinnamon at 420 W. Geer St.

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The tamales are made by Keny’s mom, Miriam, with help from other family and supporters. And boy are they tasty! All monies go towards raising tuition costs so Keny can transfer to NC State University next year. The scholarship fund will be open to other students as well! All of your warm positive vibes and support is welcome so we can make this happen. If you cant make it to Cocoa Cinnamon to get your homemade Honduran tamales tomorrow, you can support the fund online at http://www.gofundme.com/thekenyfund.

Thank you for supporting access to higher education for undocumented students! 

FIRMA LA PETICION AQUI: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/oscar/

oscarcanalesdeparture

Mientras se preparan los legisladores estatales para considerar nuevamente una propuesta que otorgue permisos de conducir a los inmigrantes indocumentados, Oscar de Greensboro esta programado a ser deportado este 8 de Abril, 2014. Oscar fue detenido el año pasado despues de un accidente donde la policia le pidio por su licencia y por no tenerla fue arrestado y puesto en procedimientos de deportacion.

Oscar y su familia se reuniran con amigos y otros miembros de la comunidad este Domingo, 6 de Abril a las 12 del dia. Oscar y su familia le pediran publicamente al ICE que pare su deportacion. La familia aprovechara la ocasion para hacerle un llamado al gobierno estatal para que otorgue permisos de manejo para los indocumentados de Carolina del Norte.

La vigilia matutina se llevara acabo a las 12 del medio dia este Domingo, 6 de Abril en la iglesia United Methodist en la direccion 3015 E. Bessemer Avenue en Greensboro, NC. Hoy por Oscar, mañana por ti. Te esperamos!

by Viridiana M.

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As I am typing up this post, I am on week 5 of my recovery from a broken foot. On March 3rd, I was in a car accident.. actually, let me rephrase that, I was hit by a white guy as I was on the middle turning lane on Six Forks Rd in Raleigh. I was going to make a left turn. I am making a point to highlight that the person who hit me was a white male because it played a pivotal role in how the Raleigh PD officer treated me and, consequently, every other party involved in the aftermath.

My insurance, Geico, has been completely useless in my case (the least they can do is proceed impartially and determine the white man who hit me responsible instead of partial responsibility based on the crash report).

Root cause of this continuing dilemma: the crash report.

The police officer responsible for writing up the crash report was biased, not to mention his behavior towards me at the site of the crash was rude and unprofessional. In the crash report, Officer D.A. Morgan states: “As a result of Vehicle 2 (me) improperly traveling in a turn lane prior to the intersection of Loft Lane, Vehicles 1 and 2 collided.” Never in this report does he even hint that the white guy who hit me was even partially at fault. When he gave me a citation for driving with a suspended license and told me I was responsible for the crash, I asked why. He responded that I should “choose my battles” because I wasn’t supposed to be driving with a suspended license in the first place. Pardon, officer? Oh wait, my name is Viridiana Martinez. Obviously hispanic. And Officer Morgan obviously felt he could get away with favoring the white guy who hit me. His lack of professionalism and tact call for some kind of punishment. But will he be punished or reprimanded in some way? When I complain against Officer Morgan, who will make sure he thinks twice before his vision becomes blurry and he favors another white man over a hispanic woman in another crash?

This experience is a reminder of the inequality, discrimination, racism, indifference, and hate we as illegals face. The truth is as an illegal immigrant woman, ALL ODDS are against me. And Officer Morgan is counting on that. He is counting on my silence. He is counting on me not knowing better! He is counting on my fear. And he is counting on the rest of the system and his colleagues treating me with that same indifference too.

Too bad for me, this car wreck happened at such an inopportune time. I was preparing to head to Texas to gather evidence for my claim to citizenship. That’s another cup of tea for another post. Soon.

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In the meantime, I have 3 more weeks of recovery before I can walk again. Hopefully. But for the past month and for the remainder of my recovery, I cannot work. If you find it in your heart to make a donation to help me cover medical bills and other expenses, I will be forever grateful. Here is the link: http://www.gofundme.com/viridiana.

For next steps, I plan on filing a complaint against Geico with the NC Department of Insurance as well as filing a grievance against Officer Morgan. A change to the statement on the crash report holds the key to making things better for me. I’m not asking for Geico’s money or for the crash report to say what is not the truth. I ask for what is just. It is clear that when all is said and done, there are no protections for someone like me. There is no support whatsoever from the state. As their customer, Geico should have my back. And the fact that my driver’s license is suspended does not make me at fault for getting collided into. Also, had I the opportunity to renew my license when it expired in 2011, it would not be suspended. But due to my immigration status, I am unable to renew my driver license.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Viridiana Martinez

viridiana@thencdreamteam.org

C: (919) 704-0599

Raleigh, NC – The Department of Public Safety released an immigration study this past Friday, March 7th. The study concludes:

- Issuing driver permits to undocumented immigrants will make North Carolina roads safer

- North Carolina’s economy is highly dependent on immigrant labor and consumer power

- Punitive measures against undocumented immigrants will lead to labor shortages, as happened in Georgia, which could harm North Carolina’s economic recovery.

The North Carolina Dream Team believes immigrants play a vital role in this state’s growing economy. We believe we can learn from the mistakes of those states’ which enacted anti-immigrant laws in 2011. We are smarter. We are better.

Alternatively, implementing enforcement measures will require additional tax dollars at a time when the state is looking to prioritize spending elsewhere.

This study acknowledges the contributions of undocumented immigrant families to this state’s growing economy. We can lead the country in becoming a thriving state that welcomes immigrants.

We encourage legislators to take action in the upcoming short session by passing the RECLAIM NC Act and allow immigrants the opportunity to legally drive, again. Driving permits for the hardworking undocumented families of North Carolina are long overdue.

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The North Carolina Dream Team is the first undocumented youth led organization in North Carolina.

NC DPS: Study Regarding Immigration Measures

“Several industries in North Carolina reported a dependence on immigrant labor..” 

by Viridiana B. Martinez

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Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters:
The past 5 years have been a learning experience. From helping start the first undocumented youth led organization in North Carolina, to coming out of the shadows as undocumented and unafraid, to participating in civil disobedience and stopping deportations. I’ve even gone as far as turning myself in to immigration authorities, placing me in deportation proceedings. It’s been this struggle that has allowed me to put together the pieces of the puzzle: Although I have lived as an undocumented immigrant for the past 20 years, I have discovered that I am actually a U.S. citizen. This is why today, I am reaching out to you in hopes that you can help me gather the evidence I need to claim my citizenship.
Make a donation here: http://www.gofundme.com/viridiana
My claim to citizenship starts with my grandfather who was born in the United States. I need to travel to his place of birth in Texas to gather evidence of his time spent there. Once I have gathered all the evidence required, I will be submitting form N-600 to claim my citizenship. The fee for this submission to USCIS is $600. Your contributions will go towards this fee and travel expenses to get to Texas and back to North Carolina for my third immigration court hearing in Charlotte on April 15, 2014.
If you’d like more information, you can call me at (919) 704-0599 or email me at ispeakingles@gmail.com.
Thank you for your support today and always!
Sincerely,
Viridiana

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