Jose Juan, Father of 5, Asks for Sanctuary in Chicago Southside Church
On Day Supreme Court Hears DAPA
Inability to Find a Ten Year Old Documents Puts Family in Jeopardy
Chicago, IL – Jose Juan Federico Moreno, a father of 5 United States citizen children, announced today that he will be seeking sanctuary from deportation in University Church on Chicago’s South Side, on the same day that the Supreme Court of the United States begins to hear arguments on the President’s deferred action program to stop the deportation of parents of U.S. citizens.
“Leaving my children behind is not a choice I can make. That’s why I’ve asked for sanctuary in this church,” said Jose Juan. “I’ve lived here for 15 years, have built a life here. My children are all citizens, and my wife could qualify for DAPA. All I am asking for is a chance to show see see my children grow and support my family.”
“Our faith teaches us that we are all better than the worst we’ve ever done. All God’s children deserve second chances. We open our doors to Jose Juan and pray that Immigration authorities will cease their immoral crusade to separate him from his family.”
The pastor of the church, University Church of Chicago, Rev. Julian De Shazier added, “Our faith teaches us that we are all better than the worst we’ve ever done. All God’s children deserve second chances. We open our doors to Jose Juan and pray that Immigration authorities will cease their immoral crusade to separate him from his family.”
Jose Juan is a father of 5 U.S. citizen children who had been given until last Friday April 15, 2016 to leave the country and ‘self-deport.’ When in front of a judge, the court determined that his removal would constitute hardship on his children but ultimately denied his appeal because he could not provide a ten-year old pay stub or other proof of residence that dated back more than nine years.
Last week the Chicago ICE office denied the request to postpone the separation from his family using prosecutorial discretion leaving him no option but to take sanctuary in a south side church.
“Jose Juan and his family are part of our community in Bolingbrook,” said Jose Vera, executive director of the Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project. “They have been part of SSIP’s efforts to build a stronger immigrant community in the suburbs, for the last 6 years. SSIP and our whole community strongly supports Jose Juan in his decision of seeking sanctuary to keep his family together, because ICE left him no other choice,” he said.
Jose Juan came to the attention of ICE in 2009 after he got pulled over while he was driving home from work and was charged with a DUI. Despite similar cases receiving relief, ICE is using the “aggravated” charge resulting from Jose Juan not having a license to insinuate that the incident was much more serious than what actually took place, and to justify his deportation.
“This is just one more example of ICE using laws that criminalize our communities in order to justify the deportation of one of our community members. We will continue to fight with Jose Juan and his family until we can stop their deportation,” said Xanat Sobrevilla, a leader with Organized Communities Against Deportation, one of the organizations supporting Jose Juan’
A petition in support of stopping Mr. Moreno gathered over 2,600 signatures before Mr. Moreno took sanctuary. A new one can be found at: http://www.notonemoredeportation.com/portfolio/josejuan/
Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) is a community based organization in Illinois that organizes against unfair and inhumane immigration enforcement practices that impact immigrant communities.