Action Alert: Tell ICE to keep Buen Pastor families together!
Thursday, Sept. 29 -- National Call-in Day for Justice for Buen Pastor Congregation
Your help is needed NOW to fight the deportation of 22 members of the Buen Pastor congregation in North Carolina.
Last Thursday, 22 members of the Buen Pastor congregation had a hearing in Charlotte, North Carolina to fight their deportation. Immigration judge, Barry Pettinato, denied the motion to suppress evidence and terminate proceedings. He also denied a continuance to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to make a decision to drop the charges.
As a result, two members were given final deportation orders and seventeen members were given voluntary departure; the seventeen will need to pay voluntary departure bonds of $500 each within five business days. Three members who qualify for immigration relief will continue to have hearings in the Charlotte court. The congregation will appeal the decision with the Board of Immigration Appeals, which will put their removal dates on hold.
The process with the courts may take up to eighteen months, and the families face an uncertain future. However, ICE can take action NOW to drop the case. Over 800 people across the country have already signed the petition urging ICE to drop all charges and dismiss the case -- but after a month and a half, ICE has not responded.
Hello, I am calling from ______________________ to urge John Morton to drop the charges against all the families involved in the Buen Pastor congregation case in which 22 men, women, and children are facing deportation. Over 800 individuals have signed a petition asking for him to drop the deportation proceedings for this case but have not received a response.
• John Morton has the power to take action today to drop charges.
• Members of Buen Pastor are exactly the kind of individuals who should benefit from President Obama’s August 18th announcement that DHS should use discretion to close cases of individuals who are positive influences on our communities, and who furthermore, are victims of civil rights abuses.
• The church members have filed a complaint and now have an open investigation with the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for rights violations including racial profiling, denied access to interpreters, denied access to legal counsel, and threats to take away their children.
Join us in raising our voices to bring real justice for these families. Thank you for your time.
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Recent news coverage of the 9/22 hearing in Charlotte, NC:
News 14, "Immigrants await status in Immigration Court."
Kansas City Star, "Judge rules immigrant church members stopped by border agents must leave U.S."
Charlotte Observer, "Judge orders immigrants removed from church."
News clip on local tv station:
WSOCTV.com, "Members of church group fighting deportation."
*Photo credit: Jorge Hernandez-Calderon