The criminal prosecution of Oregon labor organizer Francisco Aguirre for returning to the U.S. after deportation is an example of increased initiative by the Department of Justice in criminalizing immigrants and in the process discouraging advocacy and organizing. Sign the petition to stop Francisco’s deportation here.
Tania Unzueta, Not1More
In September of last year I got a call from a labor organizer in Portland, Oregon by the name of Francisco Aguirre, telling me that immigration agents had just shown up at his house, but that he had not let them in because they didn’t have a warrant and he knew his rights.
Fearing continued targeting by immigration enforcement, he took sanctuary for two months at a local church, while hundreds of community members, labor organizers, faith leaders, and elected officials around the country urged Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop trying to separate him and his family.
But during his stay in sanctuary, ICE switched its pursuit from civil immigration to a criminal case that enlisted the participation of the U.S. Attorney. In an example of a recent increase in prosecutions for re-entry from the Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Marshals served him with an indictment for a felony charge relating to Francisco’s return to the U.S. after being deported some 15 years ago, for which he could spend years in prison if found guilty and then eventually deported. Read more