On November 19th, President Obama announced that deferred action, relief from removal, would be expanded to include parents of US citizen children. That same day the Department of Homeland Security issued a series of memoranda re-defining who should be considered who would be considered “high-priority” for removal and who should be people that should be considered for prosecutorial discretion.
Below are seven people currently in detention who are eligible for the upcoming relief program or who’s cases should be closed based on the recent announcement.
This Dad and His Wife Moved to the US After Watching Their Daughter Die in Their Arms
Victor Ibarra Jimenez qualifies for Deferred Action for Parents but is detained at York County Correctional Facility. He and his wife Martiza came to the US to get their son better medical care after he was born with the same condition that took their first child’s life. Having now lived in the US for more than a decade, Victor is the father of three children, two of which are U.S. citizens, who are 12, 8 and 6 years old. He is a construction worker and resident of Norristown, Pennsylvania, known for caring about his community and family.
In March he got into a small fender bender and instead of being issued a ticket at the site of the accident he was mailed an order to appear in court. He went to court to pay his ticket and was unnecessarily fingerprinted leading to ICE arresting him on May 15th, 2014. (Sign Victor’s Petition here)
This Arizona Single Mom Was Arrested on a Holiday Walk With Her Kids
Norma Edith Bernal Gutierrez is a single mom who has raised 4 children, 2 to 16 years old in Phoenix, Arizona. On New Year’s Eve, she was walking around with her family when the police stopped them for coming too close to private property. Although accusations of trespassing were found to be baseless and later dismissed, she was asked for her immigration status and deported. When she tried to return to her children, she was stopped at the border and is facing deportation even though she should qualify for Deferred Action for Parents. (Sign Norma’s petition here)
This Dad Was Kidnapped in Mexico, Taken by ICE in Front of His Children in Pennsylvania
Francisco is the proud parent of two US citizen children. He works as a cook in Norristown, PA where he’s lived for more than a decade. Even though he qualifies for Deferred Action for Parents and has passed the first phase of his asylum application, Philadelphia ICE Director Decker has yet to release him from detention. (Sign Francisco’s petition here)
This Dad Was Detained as a Passenger in a Traffic Stop
Ernesto originally tried to flee violence in his native Guatemala in 2005. Instead of reaching safety, he was detained at the border and deported back where he was stabbed in the throat and shot. He escaped for his life again in 2007 and has since lived with his sibling in Rhode Island where he works as a cook.
This Illinois Dad Has Been in Detention More than 1/3 of His Young Daughter’s Life
It took Noe Adan Carlos Herrera multiple attempts to arrive in the US in order to provide for his father with a heart condition in Mexico. Detained for more than a year, he’s seeking release to be reunited with his toddler citizen daughter. The only criminal record he has is possession of alcohol as a minor. Previous to the announcement, his multiple crossings at the border made him priority for deportation. Given the new set of guidelines, Noe should be released. (Sign Noe’s petition here)
ICE Can’t Keep Marichuy Safe in Detention
notonemoredeportation.com/ portfolio/marichuy/, Should be released as there continues to be a lack of adequate safety for transgender individuals. She should be released based on humanitarian considerations.
The President’s announcement didn’t include deferred action for people who aren’t parents of US citizens or legal permanent residents, but there are already clear guidelines for discretion and detention that ICE is violating in the case of Marichuy Leal Gamino, a transgender woman who grew up in Arizona. After being detained she was placed in an all-male unit of the Eloy Detention Center where she was assaulted by her cell mate and placed in solitary confinement for refusing authorities’ demands that she sign documents stating the rape was consensual. (Sign Marichuy’s petition here)