To: DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson
ICE Director Sarah Saldaña
Georgia ICE Field Office Acting Director Chris Cronen
I am writing with great concern regarding the detention of 9 young people and students who were detained by the Georgia ICE Field Office during the recent immigration raids. The young people are all escaping violence and reuniting with their families, and should be released from immigration detention. We ask that you take immediate steps to ensure that prosecutorial discretion is adequately applied so that these young people are released from ICE detention and able to continue pursuing their legal cases.
The list of students and other young people currently in immigration detention under the jurisdiction of the Georgia ICE office are:
These youth hold much in common: they seek protection from the United States from the extreme violence and persecution plaguing the Northern Triangle; our legal system has not heard their asylum cases; and they seek fairness and due process in our legal system in making their asylum claims. All of these youth have been detained for more than 90 days. Prolonged detention of asylum seekers violates our refugee obligations and circumvents due process by setting up an array of obstacles ranging from limited access to counsel to the re-traumatizing effect detention has on victims of violence.
For all of the reasons listed above we believe that in the interest of our members and their students to make sure that these young people are released from immigration detention and are able to continue their education. Having heard that there are signification questions about violations of civil rights and due process during these raids, in addition to reviewing the cases of the young people named above, we urge you to review the implementation and field practices of the Georgia ICE Field office, currently under the supervision of Interim Director Christoper Cronen.
Thank you for your consideration.
This follows a set of January raids dubbed “Operation Border Guardian, which involved ICE agents taking teens enrolled in high school, many in North Carolina and Georgia, into custody, arresting them on their way to school, and holding them in detention.
Nine youth who have been identified by their teachers and members of the community remain in detention. Even as DHS prepares to detain more teens, the teachers and families of the teens detained in January are still rallying for their release.
The stories of the young people detained include that of Wildin Guillen Acosta, a high school senior from North Carolina who was detained by immigration agents as he was leaving his parent’s home for school in January. Although his case has been scheduled to be heard in court, ICE has insisted in keeping him in custody at the Steward Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, where immigration guards tease him and constantly threaten him with deportation. His teachers and community have rallied for him, with no response from DHS.
Another student detained, Jose Ismael Alfaro Lainez, who was deported in March, was detained as Jose was on his way to school when immigration agents were waiting for him behind the stairwell of his apartment.
Although immigrants from Central America have been victims of these immigration raids around the country, the Georgia ICE Field office alone is responsible for over a third of the 336 people detained — the most of any ICE field office in the country.
Please sign the petition to urge DHS Secretary Johnson and ICE Director Saldaña to release these 9 students from detention.
Categories: Open Cases
NotOneMoreDeportation.com is a campaign made of individuals, organizations, artists, and allies to expose, confront, and overcome unjust immigration laws.
As the immigration debate continues, #Not1More enters the discussion from the place that touches people in concrete ways and can offer tangible relief. By collectively challenging unfair deportations and unjust policy through organizing, art, legislation, and action, we aim to reverse criminalization, build migrant power, and create immigration policies based on principles of inclusion.
Read More »
I want to be part of the movement to stop deportations and win inclusion.