For Immediate Release
Contact: Sheridan Aguirre | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.793.2267
As Democrats and Republicans conference on Capitol Hill over budget negotiations for Trump’s deportation force and a wall, United We Dream presents three stories and reasons why Congress should defund ICE and CBP.
#1 – Manuel Armando Arpi
Manuel Arpi is a father of two U.S. citizens and a member of Asuncion Church in the Hudson Valley of New York. He was detained by four undercover ICE agents who blocked his car on his way to work in November 2017 and has been in a detention camp in Etowah County, AL since then. His detention has been a traumatic experience requiring his son to receive therapy and antidepressants to cope. His children rarely leave their home or celebrate holidays because everything they do reminds them that they are without their dad.
Marcia, wife of Manuel Armando Arpi, 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.”
IN THE NEWS:
- News12 Westchester, 12/2018: Peekskill Community Holds Vigil for Man at Risk of Deportation
- Remezcla, 08/2018: He Was a Part of Logic’s Powerful Immigration Protest at the VMAs. His Father Remains in a Detention Center
#2 – Cristobal Paute
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 detained immediately. Every weekend, Cristobal would play soccer with his children — now, Maria no longer hears their children laugh with excitement. Cristobal was locked in a detention camp in La Salle, LA and ultimately deported to Ecuador in August 2018.
IN THE NEWS:
- Rye Daily Voice, 08/2018: Rally Held For Father Of Three Who Lived In Westchester 18 Years Before Being Deported
- ABC News, 06/2018: ‘It’s Not Only Happening At The Border’: Immigrant Families Seek Help on Capitol Hill
#3 – Manuel Zhinin
Manuel Zhinin has a small family: his wife Maria 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 when Manuel was shipped to a detention camp in Etowah County, AL, the family could no longer afford to see him. 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.
Maria, wife of Manuel Zhinin, said:
“They first detained my husband at an Orange County jail before moving him to a jail in Bergen, NJ. After that he was transferred between detention camps in Alabama and Louisiana, and now he remains 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.”
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.