For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross-Posting
October 11th, 2016
Contact: Armando Carmona, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, firstname.lastname@example.org, (323) 250-3018
U.S. Congressman Meets With Deported Father of U.S. Veteran at the U.S.-Mexico Border Wall. Champions Efforts to #BringJoseBack
San Diego/Long Beach CA – On Sunday afternoon, U.S. Congressman Alan Lowenthal (47th District of CA), Long Beach City Councilmember Roberto Uranga, and the office of Congressman Juan Vargas’ office (51st District of CA) met with Mr. Jose Alvarez and his family at the U.S.-Mexico border. Mr. Alvarez was deported in February after being pulled over for a broken headlight by Cal State Long Beach campus police. He is a father of 6 U.S. Citizen children, one who is a former marine.
At the national level, Mr. Alvarez’ story has opened up a discussion about the long lasting consequences of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). Under this legislation, he is permanently ineligible for admission into the United States because of a non-violent 21-year old conviction.
“My father committed a crime and he served his time” said Jorge Alvarez, former U.S. Marine and eldest son of Jose Alvarez. “If you look at his record for the 20-plus years he’s been here in the U.S., he hasn’t done anything wrong. A single non-violent crime that happened over 20 years ago shouldn’t define who you are, it doesn’t define who my father is” he concluded.
Jorge Alvarez, was accompanied by Congressman Lowenthal who will be reaching out to his colleagues throughout Congress in an effort to ask President Obama to help bring Jose back to the United States and reunite him with his family.
“Nobody should be in the position that you’re in, after your family has given so much for this country” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal, as he spoke to Jose Alvarez at the other side of the border fence. “It’s not just you [Jose], it’s all the other people like you who have contributed to the United States, who are denied the ability to not be deported. This illustrates a broken system. Mr. Alvarez has been a model citizen and contributing to this society, that is what the American way is all about” he continued.
“We have to get him, and others like him back home to their families” he concluded.
At a local level, members of the Long Beach have also expressed their commitment to support the Alvarez family. Long Beach City Councilmember Roberto Uranga expressed his sympathy for the affected family and the need for change in immigration policy. “These are Long Beach residents, and as a local representative I am compelled to offer them my support. It hurts me to see that this border is separating this family, they have sacrificed for this country and they should be together” he stated.