For Immediate Release
May 14, 2015
Contact: SG Sarmiento, 202-746-2099, firstname.lastname@example.org
DHS’ New Deportation “Priority”: Army Veteran with US Citizen Wife and Children
As White House Prepares Roll-out of New Deportation Program, to Prioritize means to Criminalize
Hartford, CT—On Thursday, immigrant and veteran communities in Connecticut lambasted the imminent deportation of Jorge Luis Salcedo, a US Army veteran and father of two scheduled to be transferred to ICE on the same day. The case reflects the contradictions in White House policies that, despite a series of Executive Actions being taken last November 2014, continue to indiscriminately criminalize and deport immigrants from communities across the US.
Jorge Salcedo, a green card holder who is married with two children, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1994 and served honorably for 8 years. Like many veterans, Salcedo developed PTSD from his time in the military and has fought bouts with alcoholism, leading to two DUIs and a conviction for spitting on a police officer. Jorge has since apologized to the police officer and sought for many years to turn his life around: “I am sorry for everything that I have done and to anyone that has been affected by my drinking.”
Jorge’s wife, Cindy, adds that it will be their daughters that will suffer the most if he is deported, “The effects of not having Jorge at home have been devastating. I am struggling to feed, clothe, and provide medical care for our children.”
To date, nearly 1,000 individuals have joined a petition to stop Mr. Salcedo’s deportation, led by Connecticut-based Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA).
The case demonstrates the contradictions in President Obama’s “felons not families” rhetoric to get-tough on immigrants with criminal priors, despite heavy equities weighing in their favor demonstrating rehabilitation and positive contributions to family and community.
“The efforts by DHS to deport individuals like Salcedo, and requiring local police to entangle themselves in the process, are at odds with national efforts to advance criminal justice reforms, community-policing, and anti-profiling efforts,” said Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).
With DAPA stuck in the courts and information being leaked about the roll-out of S-COMM 2.0, re-branded as the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), the President’s immigration policies are failing to live up to expectations.
“With cases like Salcedo’s, DHS is blasting the short-lived belief that they would apply discretion in good faith,” said Alvarado of NDLON. “ICE is doing more to undermine confidence in the November 20th memos than anything Republicans could think of.”