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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/.
SIGN THE PETITION: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/armando/
ICE and the Office of the US Attorney are fully aware of Pastor Jose Armando’s medical condition. The open wound on his foot got infected in detention and it did not heal. For nearly a month his family new nothing of him until they recently found out one of his toes was amputated. He is not a threat to the public. On the contrary, his church and community need him home as he is both a beloved religious and community leader. Why is he still detained?
After you sign and share the online petition calling for his release, make sure you call the US attorney’s office. Tell them to release Pastor Jose Armando immediately!
Call US Attorney Eric Holder’s Office – Raleigh @ (919) 856-4530
Call Charlotte ICE @ (704) 248-9605
Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling for the release of Pastor Jose Armando (Inmate # 438743) from Mecklenburg County Jail. Pastor Jose Armando’s toe was amputated while in custody. He needs treatment not detention! Why is he still detained??“
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.
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.
Elisa Benitez: 919-883-6962
Riverside HS Graduate Seeks Humanitarian Parole
Former Durham Resident Fears He Will be Victim of Violence
Durham, NC – Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza, a 2009 graduate of Riverside High School, will be formally requesting humanitarian parole at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California at Noon, today.
Felipe de Jesus moved to Durham at the age of eight to join his mother who wanted to give him the chance to grow, find a career and become someone in life.
Felipe de Jesus studied hard and graduated from Riverside High School. When it came time to apply for college, North Carolina did not recognize him as a resident. As his friends chose colleges and applied for scholarships, Felipe was overwhelmed with sadness at being left behind. His family could not afford out-of-state tuition, which was more than twice as expensive, and he did not qualify for financial aid due to his status. He gave up on his life in the United States and returned to Mexico to continue his education.
Since arriving in Mexico City, Felipe de Jesus has struggled to earn enough money to continue his education. He experiences regular verbal abuse, even from police officers, because he is gay. In addition to this abuse, he fears he could be a target of violence because of his sexual orientation. He has grown more fearful as kidnappings, robberies and killings increase in the city around him. Felipe de Jesus refuses to give up on his dreams of going to college and having a career, but he needs his family’s support to fulfill those dreams.
Felipe de Jesus is the target of violence because of his sexual orientation.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to qualify for humanitarian parole an individual must face a “compelling emergency.”
We urge Customs and Border Protection to grant Felipe de Jesus humanitarian parole immediately.
***A vigil organized by his family, friends and community supporting Felipe and more families within the #BringThemHome campaign will be held TODAY:
Where: Iglesia Hispana Emmanuel, 2504 N Roxboro St., Durham, NC 27704
When: TODAY, Thursday March 13th @ 6pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Burlington, NC Youth Seeking Asylum
Lifelong Burlington resident seeking to return home
Burlington, NC — Alamance County community will gather this Friday at Burlington City Park as Emanuel Mejia-Lopez (A# 206-270-536) tries to return home.through the #BringThemHome campaign which seeks to reunite families He is currently being held at San Diego Correctional Facility and he is being processed by immigration authorities. Emanuel grew up in Alamance County. He graduated from Williams High School in 2007 and earned an Associate’s degree at Alamance Community College. Emanuel’s dream is to study medicine because he believes that everyone deserves access to medical care and he dreams to be able to provide that to others. After graduating from ACC, he tried to transfer to a four-year university. Unable to pay the out-of-state tuition rate, he was forced to move to Mexico, a country he barely knows since he was brought to Burlington as a child. In February of 2012, Emanuel had to abandon his home in order to pursue his dreams of becoming a doctor. He fears for his safety in Mexico, where he struggles to speak the language and has been robbed at gunpoint. Emanuel has done nothing wrong, his family needs him back home in Burlington, and North Carolina needs him!
Family, friends, and supporters of Emanuel will be holding a candlelight vigil to support him coming back to the United States from Mexico.
WHAT: Vigil to Bring Emanuel Home
WHERE: The Friendship Fountain at Burlington City Park, 1350 S. Main St., Burlington, NC
WHEN: FRIDAY, March 14th @ 6:00PM
This past Monday, March 10th, Emanuel began a journey back to his loved ones requesting humanitarian parole into the country through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego.
Emanuel belongs to a group of people that were deported or forced to leave the United States because of programs supported by the Obama Administration like 287g and Secure Communities. State laws denying immigrants access to a college education, jobs, and housing also make life incredibly difficult. Some grew tired of living in constant fear here. However, upon leaving their homes, they found life even more difficult. Emanuel’s future is in Alamance County. He is one of many.
by Viridiana B. Martinez
Sign the online petition below to thank the NC House of Representatives for voting in favor of House Bill 786-the RECLAIM NC Act and to ask them to override Governors McCrory’s Veto against it.
The North Carolina DREAM Team is an organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies who are dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, community-led immigrant rights movement in North Carolina. We aim to help undocumented youth recognize their individual and collective power to activate their communities.
Thank you to everyone who made calls and signed the petitions of Fidela and Juan Jose. Fidela Medel Lopez’ deportation was stopped and Juan Jose Ernesto Oliva was released. Now, let’s continue doing the same thing so that Holman Acosta can be released and brought to his family, and stop Luis Zarco’s deportation.
Holman Acosta: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/holman/
Call Atlanta ICE @ (404) 893-1210
Call DC ICE @ (202) 732-3000 or (202) 732-3100
Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask for the release of Holman Acosta (A# 098-894-580) from North Georgia Detention Center. Holman is the head of household and his US citizen wife, who suffers from depression and diabetes, needs him home to care for their 3 US citizen children. Don’t force these kids to grow up without their father. Release Holman now!”
Call Charlotte ICE @ (704) 248-9605
Call DC ICE @ (202) 732-3000 or (202) 732-3100
Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask that ICE stop the deportation of Luis Zarco (A# 200-972-096). Luis is the sole bread winner for his family which includes 3 US citizen children. Luis has lived in the US for 15 years and is an outstanding member of the Charlotte community. Please keep him home!”