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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cell: (910) 584-3257
NC Dream Team
Cell: (919) 704-0599
Benson Community Caravan to Charlotte Calling for the Release of Pastor Jose Armando SiliezarCaravan leaving Benson will be escorted by Benson Police Department, Rally and vigil will be held in the evening outside of Mecklenburg County Jail
Benson, NC – Pastor Jose Armando Siliezar-Sevilla (Inmate #438743), 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. After nearly a month of not having heard from him, his family recently found out through a third party that he had a toe amputated while in custody due to his diabetes. The Benson community, his church, and family are calling for the release of Pastor Jose Armando as further detention puts his health at risk.
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 Josmar who is depressed since his father was taken into custody. ICE says Pastor Jose Armando lied about his criminal background in an application to adjust his immigration status. But Pastor Jose Armando’s only crime was accepting guidance from the attorney who advised him not to provide information on his criminal background.
A caravan of Pastor Jose Armando’s church, family, and supporters will be traveling to Charlotte for a rally and vigil outside of Mecklenburg County Jail where he is held.
What: Rally and Vigil
Where: Mecklenburg County Jail
Address: 801 E. 4th St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Time: 6 pm
When: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Who: Ministerio Internacional el Verbo en Accion (Pastor Jose Armando’s Congregation) will be joined by at least eight other congregations from across North Carolina.
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, Jose 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 Jose 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/.
Dreamer’s Day 2014: Pathways to Education for Immigrant Youth
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:
by Viridiana M.
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.
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
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.
The North Carolina Dream Team is the first undocumented youth led organization in North Carolina.
by Viridiana B. Martinez
Monday, January 27th, 2014
Contact: Viridiana Martinez
Cell: (919) 704-0599
Father of Eastway and Northern students scheduled for deportation on Tuesday night
Supporters will meet at 7pm at El Centro Hispano in Durham, NC
Durham, NC – On January 27th, 2014, supporters and community members will gather to urge Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop the deportation of Hugo Leonel Perez Ramirez (A# 077-665-965) who is set to be deported this Tuesday night, January 28th. If deported, Hugo Leonel will be separated from his wife, who is recovering from arm surgery and has diabetes, and youngest son, Rhodinson, who is a U.S. citizen.
On December 23, 2013 in the morning, ICE raided the home of Hugo Leonel and his family at 5am while they were sleeping. Without a knock at the door, ICE entered Hugo Leonel’s home, walked up the stairs, handcuffed and dragged him out. Hugo’s older sons cried and pleaded for ICE agents to take them instead of their father, but their cries were ignored. Their father was ripped away from them and their family was torn apart that morning. Hugo Leonel is, currently, being held in Stewart Detention Center and faces imminent deportation.
Hugo Leonel came to North Carolina from Guatemala in 2006 in search of a better life. His first attempt to reunite with his family was in 2000 but he was caught at the border and deported. According to the 2011 Morton Memo, he is a low-priority case and based on Acting ICE Director John Sandweg’s recent memo, Hugo Leonel’s deportation should be stopped immediately as he is the only breadwinner for his children and wife, Edilma.
WHEN: Monday, January 27, 2014
WHERE: El Centro Hispano, 600 E Main St, Durham, NC
WHO: NC Dream Team and El Centro Hispano
For more information, visit the online petition at: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/hugo
The North Carolina Dream Team is the first independent undocumented youth-led organization in the Carolinas.