URGENT from Immigration Team

Critical dispatch from Yolanda and our Immigration Issues Team.  IF YOU CAN HELP, contact us!

All Friends and Concerned Citizens:

Today brings a last minute, desperate call for help in a humanitarian cause. This hits very close to home!

Last night, I was—in concert with a congregation of other dedicated and hardworking people—able to get a Salvadoran gentleman named Roberto released from the Adelanto Detention facility. All this just so that he could have a chance to have his case heard through the rigorous legal process—given his day in court—before being indiscriminately deported back to the atrocious situation he had escaped from…

I had a chance to spend some time with Roberto upon release. A warm human being. A very nice man with needs—like us all. It was so exhilarating to see the face of freedom. He was so grateful. It brought tears to everyone’s eyes.

However, he is just one victim of an unjust, uncaring juggernaut system of deportation.

This process of getting someone released is costly and time consuming: bail, lawyers, immediate necessities and—in many cases—the cost of an ankle monitor. Today, we face a similar—even more pressing—situation; we are in dire straits and I need your help!

Today, funds (approx. $1,500.00) are desperately needed to help get legal aid fees for a gentleman by the name of Jean. He must get a petition filed today to halt his imminent deportation. Jean was surreptitiously moved by the ICE operation from Adelanto to Arizona and faces deportation as of this time. The clock is ticking, and legal aid of this nature is costly.

Can you help? Can you help us raise $1,500.00 for legal fees—TODAY? If you can help, please PM me. We will be forever grateful for your help!

After calling many lawyers, there was a common denominator: Jean’s case is a $15K – 20K case. We finally found one who agreed to accept whatever we fundraise. So far, I’ve had pledges for $650 + a check for $1,000 from a very generous donor whose original intent was for the funds to be used for bail bond but agreed to allow me to use it for legal fees, if needed. The CLUEJustice Adelanto Fundraiser is for bail bond money only. We do not touch that for legal feels. That is why I asked for people interested in helping me to PM me. My intent is to collect the money and forward it to Jamima, who is dealing with the lawyer.

The lawyer, Romben Aquino, has filed a temporary stay of removal, then he has 14 days to supplement the filing materials – which is a lot of work, but doable. We don’t know if Jean will return to Adelanto. If he returns to Adelanto, and since his bail bond was nullified, he will have to petition for another bail bond hearing and it will be up to the judge to honor the previous bond or increase it. In other words, we may be back to square one. In fact, Jean can be transferred to any Detention Facility in the country. While in AZ, he found out his bail bond had been cancelled and he proceeded to ask us to stop all efforts to prevent his deportation. He faces DEATH, friends, if he returns to Haiti. His mother died eight days after a beating intended for him – he was not at home when men showed up at his home so they beat up his mom. We could not not mobilize, hence my urgent appeal for legal fees money.

Roberto is just a sweetheart. He’s been spending the days with me and nights at E.’s. He’s not sleeping well. I truly believe he’s suffering from PTSD. It seems our beautiful desert triggers the many memories he has from his difficult journey to the U.S. Today was the first day we chatted without either one crying.

From all the hunger strikers I’ve met, as they share their stories, there’s always something that breaks my heart and sort of haunts me. Roberto told me about the night before they crossed the border. He said, “We built a fire – fully aware that border patrol might find us or coyotes would come and try to eat us. We did not care. We were tired and hungry. It was snowing hard and we were cold. The fire would at least keep us warm until God decided our destiny.”

Today he was successful in contacting some friends he met at Adelanto who promised to help him. Things have not been completely sorted yet and I don’t know how long he will be in our area. He may end up in Ventura, Long Beach, or San Diego. He met an American writer in Mexico who also expressed interest in helping him if he made it here. He connected with her but she lives in Oregon. For the time being, he will remain with E. and me.

Roberto and I went to Palm Springs today to eat pupusas (a Salvadoran dish). E. never had any so I bought some for him and Liz. When we got back, E. was in his studio, painting. He has a beautiful painting with children’s hand prints on the bottom. E. told Roberto that he wants him to forge the kind of life that will allow him to bring his daughter to the US so she can put her hand prints on E.’s painting. Then he offered his place for Roberto and his fiancee to wed. E.’s generosity and compassion humbles me and lifts my heart. Roberto’s story fuels my desire to do as much as I can for all our migrant brothers and sisters who are willing to risk everything – e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

La Lucha Sigue.

Trump Tax Scam Is NOT a Done Deal!

Updates on the Trump Tax Scam:

There will be another rally this week at Rep. Paul Cook’s Apple Valley office.  Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 10:30 a.m.   Contact IMB for carpooling.  Facebook Event page hereplease share!  14955 Dale Evans Parkway, Apple Valley, CA 92307.

Last week’s rally was loud and energetic, with over 100 people attending.  View video of the protest, and read about it in the Daily Press.  Thanks to everyone who came out!  Let’s do it again this Tuesday!

Hard-hitting ads targeting Rep. Cook’s support for the tax bill are running on-line, sponsored by Americans Against Double Taxation.  Like and share the ad on Facebook!  Learn more about the ad campaign on Politico.

Southern California is currently experiencing catastrophic loss from wildfires, but by voting for the Tax Scam, Rep. Cook voted to end the deduction for wildfire and earthquake victims (though not recent hurricane victims). The L.A. Times has the story, and MSNBC calls out the California Republicans who voted for it – including Congressman Paul Cook.

Rep. Paul Cook defends his vote on the opinion page of the Victor Valley Daily Press, claiming the “House Tax Plan is good for working-class Americans”.  Join hundreds of others in responding to Rep. Cook with a different view on his Facebook page.

Finally, somehow we missed this the first time around, but when the House was preparing to pass their version of the tax scam back in mid-November, the L.A. Times wrote that Cook was “praying on how to vote” and added this quote:  “’We’re still talking about; that’s all. I’m just still talking about it. I have to say my prayers and get divine guidance,’ Cook said. ‘And if I’m right, I’m going to vote the right way and go to a race track right afterward.’”

Three Released From Adelanto

This is solidarity in action:  Thanks to your generosity, three of the Adelanto hunger strikers were freed this week.  Meet Isaac, Julio, and Civile.  They will now join the coalition to actively free the remaining detainees.

Isaac, Julio, and Civile

We’re up to $15,000, with nearly up to 5 detainees able to be released from Adelanto!  Isaac, Julio and Civile are the first three.  So we were excited that the average bond amount for the Adelanto Hunger Strikers had come down to about $2,300 per man. Then when CLUE started going to get them out, they found a little fine print addition of an $800 per man “release fee.” So the total per detainee is now about $3,100 each–still attainable, but it will take a little longer. Nonetheless, we are delighted we’ve collectively raised more than $9,500! That’s three detainees. Please help the remaining hunger strikers go home to their families:  contribute if you are able, and share.

Read  more on our Immigration Issues page, and the San Bernardino Sun has a new article on the situation here.