Pratie Heads at the rally for Pedro Perez Guzman, today 5pm in Raleigh
Bob Vasile and I are singing today at 5 pm in Moores Square in Raleigh at the rally for Pedro Perez Guzman, one of many people who have gotten stuck in a mire of conflicting immigration agencies, officials, and regulations, and who has now spent an entire year at a detention center in Lumpkin Georgia, away from his wife and young son.
You can read more about it here: Pedro's story. excerpt:
Pedro was only 8 years old when he entered the United States. Approximately 3 years ago, Pedro's mother went in to the immigration office for her permanent residency interview. Our biggest mistake, in hindsight, was not sending a lawyer with her. She is older and her memory is not great. In the interview, she made a mistake and was denied permanent residency.
Pedro was then sent a Notice to Appear in Court by immigration authorities ... they sent the Notice to Appear to the wrong address even though they had the correct address... when he did not appear to the court date, because he did not receive the order to appear in court, he was issued an order of deportation.
On Friday September 25, 2009, at 4am, there was a loud banging on the door and someone shouting, "Police! Open up!" ... Logan, our 3 year old son, was terrified and traumatized... [later] they handcuffed him and told us that they were from ICE and they would be detaining him because of an order of deportation... Pedro was able to give Logan one kiss and say goodbye.
Pedro was first detained in Wake County jail. After one day, he was transferred to Alamance County jail... for about a month... [and was] transferred to Georgia.
Six weeks later immigration authorities admitted their mistake (sending vital information to the wrong address) and agreed to reopen the case and stay his deportation temporarily until a final decision about the case.
On December 15, 2009, the judge stated that he did not believe that Pedro was eligible for relief under Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central Relief Act (NACARA), did not want to entertain Pedro’s case for immigration relief, and denied him bond. [later] our attorney showed me the statute in the immigration law that clearly stated that Pedro was eligible... The judge then proceeded to tell us that he still did not believe that Pedro was eligible for NACARA and that his final decision was to deport Pedro.
On May 9, 2010, the appeal for the final decision on Pedro’s eligibility to stay in the U.S. was filed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. We are waiting for the decision about the appeal of the final decision to deport Pedro.
Also read: humane alternatives to detention centers.