When I called ICE last week, they told me Anibal had a “serious criminal record,” but would not give me more information. What ICE means is that in 2009 Anibal was stopped at the border and deported, but came back to the United States.
Anibal is a day laborer who has lived in Chicago since he was 16 years old. Last December immigration agents raided an apartment building in the north side of Chicago, knocking on all the doors looking for a suspect, and checking the immigration status of those they found in their way. After the immigration agents found out about his previous deportation, they took him into custody and placed him in deportation proceedings again.
Since Anibal was detained he has been working with community organizations to denounce thes raids. Inspired by his story, over 20 organizations have signed on to a letter urging ICE to stop it’s abusive practices in immigrant communities in Chicago. His story and this organizing has been reported in the local press, and even made the cover of La Raza Newspaper last week.
Meanwhile, ICE insists that Anibal must leave the country by March 4th, abandoning his wife and his 7-month old son.