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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/.