#Not1More Deportation

Community Responds to Treat of deportation for Man who was beat up in detention by ICE agents

On early morning of March 13th, Fernando called his wife telling him that the detention center where he is being held, had told him to pack his things. Concerned with his potential deportation, his family and community members sent out an alert, requesting that people call to ask why ICE was deporting Fernando. Within less than an hour of the action alert asking for calls to ICE, immigration informed us that he would not be getting deported today. According to the New Orleans ICE office, when Fernando was told to pack up his things by the detention center officers, it must have been a ‘mistake’ by the immigration detention center.

In August of 2013, Fernando Figueroa Barajas was stopped at a roadblock in his home state of Mississippi, and charged with driving without a license. The local police who arrested him, told Fernando they were doing so because he was a ‘fucking wetback” and an “illegal.”

Then in September, while he was still in police custody, immigration officers transported him to an office, placed a piece of paper in front of him, and told Fernando to sign. When Fernando refused to sign and asked for a lawyer, the immigration agent grabbed his head and shoved it into a table multiple times, causing him to bleed. Then the officer put Fernando on the floor and kicked him several times. Through all this, Fernando was shackled at his waist with cuffs on his hands and feet. After being  denied medical treatment and being transferred to an immigration detention facility, he attempted to speak about the abuse, but was instead categorized as suicidal and placed in solitary confinement.

Now Fernando is seeking accountability from ICE. He has submitted several complaints with the Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, one with DHS General Counsel and the Office of Principal Legal Advisor, and is filing a federal civil rights complaint in the US District Court for Mississippi.

It is part of ICE’s policy of prosecutorial discretion to not deport individuals who are engaged in pursuing civil rights claims, and should grant Fernando a stay of removal. In addition, Fernando is married to a US citizen wife, he has no significant criminal record, has deep connections to his community in Mississippi, and has a legitimate fear of returning to Mexico, where he has received death threats from drug cartels.

The New Orleans ICE office  has denied Fernando’s request to stop his deportation or to release him from detention, because they don’t consider his complaints about being violently beat by an ICE agent, a letigimate civil rights complaint that warrants prosecutorial discretion.

Please send an e-mail to ICE to remind them that the community is still paying attention, and that we will not stop until Fernado is released, an his deportation is stopped.