On Father's Day we celebrated the great news that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had dropped the prosecution against Francisco! This means Francisco is no longer facing prison time and an unjust criminal reentry charge. Now, it’s up to us to double-down on our efforts and get ICE to end its harassment of Francisco Aguirre and his family.
It was a bittersweet celebration as ICE immediately served him with a “Notice of Intent to Issue a Final Administrative Removal Order” (FARO), a little-known maneuver in which an ICE agent orders a non-citizen to be deported without even the limited judicial oversight provided by immigration court.
Francisco, Dora and their two daughters lived in sanctuary the fall of 2014 for three months. The struggle continues to ensure that the entire family can remain in the United States. Read more about his story at unidosconfrancisco.com/
A VIGIL FOR REFUGEES FLEEING VIOLENCE
The Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly was in Portland, Oregon the week of June 18-25, 2016. Rev. Allison Harrington, Pastor, Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, AZ organized a vigil outside the convention center to remember immigrants and refugees whether they are crossing the Arizona desert or the Mediterranean sea to reach a safe haven.
We prayed and sang and remembered but most importantly pledged to keep up the struggle to ensure that Central American children and their families would be welcomed in this nation of immigrants.
I am in Condon, Oregon with a good friend Susan. We worked together in the 1980's in the first Sanctuary movement WHERE churches provided safe haven for Central Americans fleeing civil wars as well as advocating to stop U.S. military aid to the "contras" in Nicaragua. We were listening to MSNBC commentary on the sit-in in Congress when they announced that the U.S. Supreme Court had a 4-4 tie on the President Obama executive order of "administrative relief" for about five million undocumented persons living in the United States. Thus, the lower court ruling would prevail and the executive order would not be implemented.
I felt sick at heart as I thought of several families in my community who would have benefited from a 5-3 in favor of the Obama action. This immigration case or better known as DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and DAPA, Deferred action for Parents of Children who were either US citizens or had permanent residence status. It was a bold step on part of President Obama who has deported more people in his seven plus years of office than any other President.
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