For Immediate Release // Excuse Cross-Postings //
Contacts: Armando Carmona, firstname.lastname@example.org, (323) 250-3018
Date: September 13, 2016
Immigrant Grandmother Released on Bond Calls on ICE to End Deportation Saga: “I will not be truly free until ICE closes my case”
Los Angeles Community Leaders Join in Call for Meeting with Mayor Garcetti and ICE LA Field Office Director Bonales-Garibay
Sept. 13, 2016, Los Angeles—On Friday night, after more than six months in immigration jail, “Abuela” Xochitl Hernandez was released from the for-profit Adelanto Detention Center. An immigration judge rejected ICE’s arguments and lowered her bond from $60,000 to $5,000, and her family and supporters successfully raised money with an outpouring of support in response to an on-line fundraiser. However, Ms. Hernandez’ case is not over: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to identify her as a top deportation priority, and she is required to wear a painful and intrusive surveillance device on her ankle and report regularly to ICE.
After being reunited with her family, Xochitl Hernandez stated, “I am so grateful for everyone’s support, which has brought me home to my children and grandchildren. However, I will not be truly free until ICE closes my case. I am terrified of being deported, and being separated from my family again. I have to wear an ankle monitor which makes me feel one step away from being locked up.”
Today Los Angeles community members also joined the public call for the closure of Ms. Hernandez’ case, and requested a meeting with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and ICE’s Acting LA Field Office Director Norma Bonales-Garibay. In a letter, representatives of the immigration, faith, labor, academic, health, education and social service communities recognized the “overwhelming evidence that Ms. Hernandez does not meet the standard the Department of Homeland Security set for its removal priorities.” Signatories included Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of University of California at Irvine School of Law, Reverend Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries, LAUSD Board of Education President Steve Zimmer, UNITE-HERE Vice President Maria Elena Durazo, and Department of Child and Family Services Supervising Children’s Social Worker Cecilia Saco.
“Xochitl’s case demonstrates the destructiveness of gang and racial profiling by federal and local law enforcement,” said Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), which has advocated for the closure of Ms. Hernandez’ case. “ICE should immediately exercise prosecutorial discretion and stop trying to deport Xochitl Hernandez. Xochitl’s nightmare must end.”
The #FreeAbuelaXochitl #DontDeport Abuela campaign has received support from elected officials, more than100 organizations, and almost 2,000 individuals. The public can sign a petition to support this campaign.