Successful Actions Stop the Deportation of Our NeighborPosted: June 13, 2012
This week Occupy Harrisonburg joined forces with Dream Activist Virginia and Isabel Castillo to prevent the deportation of local Harrisonburg man Cesar Lara Rios. Dream Activist and others have been working hard on this case for many months.
After four months in detention and just days before his scheduled departure, Rios was released from Farmville detention and drove back to Harrisonburg to meet jubilant Dream Activists and Occupiers on the steps of Harrionsburg Court House at midnight.
Mama Bear protester Carol Snell-Feikema embodies the beauty of the day with her Sweet Honey and the Rock song. Check out the second song on this stream:
Here is the stream of our victory march around the square:
Earlier in the day the groups protested the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office by delivering firewood to the door. Rios was picked up by a forest ranger as he gathered firewood beside the road near Charlottesville, VA.
Here is the USTREAM of the ICE office action:
This is an excerpt from our press release:
Cesar is a 28-year-old native of Mexico with no criminal record who has been residing in Harrisonburg for the last five years. Cesar has been detained at Farmville Detention Center for four months after gathering firewood in the National Forest. Local ICE refused to stop his deportation, and ICE headquarters office has refused to step in.
The Obama Administration has repeatedly claimed that cases like these are not to be pursued under priorities put forward on June 17th by ICE Director John Morton’s “Morton Memo.” The memorandum urges Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop pursuing deportations so vigorously by using prosecutorial discretion to consider student status and the person’s ties to the community, including family relationships
If deported Cesar will be ripped from his family and community. His mother is a legal permanent resident and Cesar’s sister is a U.S. citizen.
“Cesar is the same type of low-priority case President Obama promised would be stopped. We don’t understand why these ICE officers are not following their own boss’s guidelines!” said DREAM Activist Virginia (DAVA) founder, Isabel Castillo.
http://action.dreamactivist.org/virginia/cesar/ advocates have set up an online petition which has garnered more than 1,000 supporters in just the last few days.
DREAM Activist Virginia (DAVA) is a local group of community members of all ages and backgrounds who are committed to advocate for immigrant rights.
Occupy Harrisonburg is a local group of community members committed to stemming the destructive misuse of money and power on our individual and collective lives.