The Deportation Force Broke Their Families Apart – Now They Are Fighting Back
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sheridan Aguirre | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.793.2267
White Plains, NY – On Friday evening, over fifty family and community members rallied outside the office of the Regional ICE Field Director in Westchester County in support of six fathers and brothers who were taken by ICE agents, sent thousands of miles away from their families and their legal representation to detention camps across the country.
“Nos mueven como mercancía.” “They move us like merchandise.” These are the last words the men shared with their families before ICE loaded them up into planes and buses and transferred them to detention camps across the country.
The protest is a part of a growing resistance to the deportation force in the Hudson Valley where the community was successful in getting the Westchester County Board of Legislators to pass the Immigrant Protection Act to limit collaboration between the county and ICE. But as the Deportation Force continues to wreak havoc on Hudson Valley families, the community is fighting back.
*** CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE FATHERS WHO ARE DETAINED. Credit can be attributed to United We Dream.
Luis, brother to Jorge Sarango who has been detained at a detention camp for months, said:
“Jorge is my brother and he was like another father for me in this country. His kids miss him greatly. He was the only income earner in his family, it’s been difficult [for them] to pay for simple things like food and rent. I want freedom for my brother and all immigrants.”
“Jorge estado presente en mi vida desde que era joven, y para mi era como otro padre en este país. Sus hijos lo extrañan mucho. El era el único que trabaja en su familia, ha sido difícil pagar por cosas simples como la comida y la renta. Quiero libertad para mi hermano y a todos los inmigrantes.”
Luis Yumbla, Deportation Defense Case Manager with United We Dream and Director of Hudson Valley Community Coalition, said:
“Our communities are in pain. Family separations are happening at the border but also in our cities when ICE agents take fathers a thousand miles away from their children. Congress: see our families as people and say NO when DHS asks for more money for ICE and CBP.”
Marcia, wife of Manuel Armando Arpi who was sent a thousand miles away to be detained at a detention camp in Alabama, said:
“Manuel is an excellent husband and exceptional father. He’s always spent time with our kids, whether it be fishing on Sundays or planting vegetables in the garden. Ever since he was taken away by ICE agents we haven’t had peace. For us, there were no birthdays, no Christmas and no New Years. I want ICE to free my husband. All we are asking for is dignity.”
“Manuel es un excelente esposo y un padre excepcional. Siempre se pasaba el tiempo con nuestros niños: sea pescar en los domingos o plantar verduras en el jardín. Desde que fue arrestado por los agentes de ICE no hemos tenido tranquilidad. Para nosotros no había cumpleanos, navidad ni año nuevo. Quiero que ICE libere a mis esposo. Lo único que exigimos es dignidad.”
Maria, wife of Manuel Zhinin who has been detained at a detention camp in Etowah County, AL, said:
“They first detained my husband at an Orange County jail and then in Bergen, NJ, and after that he was transferred between detention camps in Alabama and Louisiana, and now he is in Alabama. It’s been very difficult going through this with my daughter. She wants to see him but she doesn’t understand that he’s far away so she’s left feeling sadness. I ask with all my heart that ICE let our family return to the way it was — happy.”
“Primero detuvieron a mi esposo en la cárcel de Orange County y después en Bergen, Nueva Jersey, y despues de ahi lo trasladaron entre campos de detención en Alabama y en Louisiana ,y ahora está en Alabama. Es muy duro pasar por esto con mi niña. Quiere verlo pero no entiende que esta lejos y se queda con la tristeza. Pido con mi corazón que ICE nos deje volver a ser la familia de antes — felices.”
SEE BELOW THE STORIES OF THE FATHERS LOCKED IN DETENTION CAMPS
AbolishICE is a campaign by courageous immigrant youth, families, communities of color and allies to get the racist deportation force out of our budgets, out of our backyards and out of our lives. Actions have already taken place in states such as NM, TX, FL, NY, CA and IL and will increase through the year. Community members are demanding that Members of Congress stop funding the racist deportation force which preys on people of color and immigrant communities left vulnerable because Congress is blocking immigration reform. We also demand that local governments and all people with institutional power create barriers to AbolishICE from our neighborhoods. The terror and the deportations must stop and our families must be reunited!
Manuel Armando Arpi is father of two U.S. citizen teenagers and a member of Asuncion Church. He was detained by four undercover ICE agents in November 2017 and is now locked in a detention camp in Etowah County, AL. His detention has led to his eldest son requiring therapy and antidepressants to cope. His children rarely leave the home or celebrate holidays because everything they do reminds them that they are without their dad. You can click here for his petition.
Cristobal Paute is a father of three U.S. born children and husband to Maria, who is undocumented. He was detained one morning in February 2018 when an ICE agent knocked on his door. He knew his rights, and refused to open, but the agent threatened to stay there all day. Not wanting to risk something happening to his family, he opened the door and was swiftly detained. Every weekend, Cristobal would play soccer with his children — now, Maria no longer hears their children laugh with excitement. Cristobal is locked in a detention camp in La Salle, LA and his family is fearful that if deported to Ecuador he may be killed.
You can click here for his petition.
Manuel Zhinin has a small family: his wife and his 7 year old daughter, Joselyn, whose soccer games he never missed. Manuel was detained in December 2017 when three ICE agents blocked him from driving to work. They asked if he was Manuel, and when he responded yes, they detained him. Manuel’s family would drive 40 minutes to see him but recently Manuel was shipped to a detention camp in Etowah County, AL. The only source of joy that distracts Joselyn from her father is Florcita, a guinea pig that a friend gifted to the family to help them cope.
You can click here for his petition.
Jorge Sarango is a father with two children and a business owner. He was the sole breadwinner in his family. Jorge was detained outside of a courthouse. His brother, Luis, was with him at the time and recalls the ICE agent telling him that Jorge wouldn’t be behind bars for long — this was a lie. Now Jorge’s family is distraught over the fact that he has been sent to a detention camp far away from his family. Of Jorge and his wife, Luis says, “He loves her and he loves their daughter, no matter what happened in the past. They’re just scared they may never see Jorge again.” You can click here for his petition.
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.