For Immediate Release
Romy Lerner of AI Justice: (305) 905-2247
Jonathan Fried of We Count!: (305) 281-9377
May 18, 2012
Two Mayans Assaulted by ICE Agents Deported Today
May 18, 2012 – Today, Julio Diaz Sales and Adolfo Garcia Diaz returned to Guatemala, as mandated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
On behalf of Julio and Adolfo, we want to thank everyone who signed a petition, made a phone call, reposted a link, and passed the word to others to join the effort to stop their deportation. Over 37,000 people signed the change.org petition on their behalf. We understand that the issue went to the highest level of ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We are grateful and proud of the support so many people from our movement and people of good will offered.
We believe that DHS and ICE did not stay the removal of Adolfo and Julio because it would require them to admit or infer that ICE agents assaulted Julio and Adolfo and that there was a cover up. The first step in reforming an institution is to admit you have a problem. The leadership of ICE and DHS circled the wagons to protect the institution from any serious self-examination and doubled down on the local ICE decision to remove these two young men from the country.
ICE may never admit the truth about what happened in Homestead and other South Florida cities during its Operation RES-Q on November 19, 2008, or how this operation aimed at a sex trafficking ring seriously missed the mark. The brutal actions of ICE that day are symptomatic of deep-rooted problems within the agency, including racism, lack of accountability and abuse of power. These problems long predate the current administration, which disappointingly has been unwilling or unable to reform DHS.
Although these two young men were deported, our organizations – AI Justice and We Count! – pledge to continue to seek the truth about Operation RES-Q, and justice for its victims. We look back not to dwell in the past but to fight for a better future.Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) has been fighting for the American dream since its founding in 1996. One of the nation’s largest non-profit immigration law firms, AI Justice represents vulnerable immigrants at no charge. This direct service work informs its broader policy work. AI Justice influences national policy; successfully litigates or otherwise challenges patterns of abuse; and educates the public about the impact immigration laws and directives have on our communities. AI Justice is dedicated to protecting and promoting the basic human rights of immigrants. Please visit www.aijustice.org for more information.