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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:
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
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.
Local Immigrant Families Come Together to Support Their Loved Ones Crossing the Border
#BringThemHome campaign offers hope, a chance to fight fear of deportation
Charlotte, NC — The NC Dream Team is holding a ‘Coming Out of the Shadows’ event to support local families whose loved ones are returning to the United States from Mexico as part of the national #BringThemHome campaign.
WHAT: Vigil For Loved Ones Coming Home
WHERE: 100 E. Trade St, Charlotte, NC
WHEN: MONDAY, March 10th @ 6:00PM
This month, the Obama Administration will hit its two-millionth deportation. March is month undocumented youth have used for the past several years to declare themselves ‘undocumented and unafraid’. March is a special time for the movement, when many participated in ‘coming out’ rallies, speaking about their undocumented status publicly for the first time.
Families gathered last Tuesday in Durham, NC at Iglesia El Buen Pastor as family members of loved ones returning home declared themselves as ‘Undocumented & Unafraid.’ Families will gather once more in Charlotte, NC on the eve of their loved ones coming back.
“This year, we will use our Coming Out of the Shadows rallies to tell the movement that the fight to keep families together does not end with deportation,” says Elisa Benitez, a member of the NC Dream Team. “Our community is coming together to support the families whose loved ones are coming home.”
This will be the third time the #BringThemHome campaign has fought for immigrants who were deported or forced to leave their homes in the United States. On Monday, they will begin the long journey back to their loved ones across the country after crossing the border in San Diego.
The participants in this third border-crossing 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, or housing also made life incredibly difficult. Some were just tired of living in fear, and returned. However, upon leaving their homes, they found life even more difficult.
The #BringThemHome campaign is the only way these families can be reunited. We will fight until everyone whose lives were built on this side of the border have a chance to return home.
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1555478414676700/
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.