If you represent a community organization, please sign-on to this letter here.
Director Trey Lund
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
1250 Poydras St, Suite 325
New Orleans, LA, 70113
Dear Director Lund,
We, the undersigned civil, labor, and human rights organizations, write to urge the New Orleans Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to exercise prosecutorial discretion and grant a one year stay of removal to parents and primary caregivers of minor children living in New Orleans, Louisiana. These parents and caregivers should be allowed to remain in the United States with the children that rely on them for basic necessities, love, and support.
On August 23, 2013 we welcomed Director Sandweg’s prosecutorial discretion directive entitled Facilitating Parental Interest in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities. We believe that the guidelines put forth in this directive are a strong step forward in reducing the harm deportations are causing these families and the community. Although we are requesting that the New Orleans ICE Field office exercise discretion in the cases of all parents placed in removal proceedings, the current list of people who request a one year stay of removal are:
Juan Carlos Castillo-Salazar A#097-736-118
Juan Ramon Turcios Garcia A#098-589-998
Ronald Martinez-Rivera A#200-118-775
Jimmy Barraza Bonilla A#098-883-799
Denis Chirinos Avila A#078-920-744
Sandra Ortiz-Meza A#088-926-849
Amalia Chun-Ixcoy A#200-115-045
Nora Jimenez A#205-379-753
Irma Lemus A#094-770-100
Erlin San Martin-Gomez A#099-517-891
All of the above listed fathers were detained directly by ICE as they were going to work, unpacking groceries outside of their home, or looking at new apartments to rent to welcome their new born US citizen child. They are the victims of racial profiling, and have bravely spoken out about their experience. Responsible parents, like those on the above list, who are actively a part of their children’s lives and are involved in civil rights organizations help strengthen our country and bring hope for a brighter future for all families.
Additionally we support the request of these women who have been released under the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP), to be terminated from the ISAP program, and have their electronic monitors removed. Per their testimonies, these monitors negatively affect a parent’s ability to take care of their children, and the children’s emotional health and well-being. For parents, it makes it difficult to attend to their children’s needs, having to be under a strict schedule and limiting their mobility for hours per day. In addition, it increases the stress and fear of young children, and re-traumatizing them after losing a parent to detention. In addition, these parents have shown desire to remain in the United States with their children, have deep roots in the community, and are engaged in civic activities. They are not flight risk.
We urge you to grant these parents and dedicated community member’s a one year stay of removal. If these parents are deported, an entire generation of New Orlean’s children will grow up with the experience of one of their parents absent in their home.