From Pangea Legal Services
For immediate release: Dec 18, 2012
Breaking: DREAMer Jesus Ruiz freed from ICE detention after 90 days, but still facing deportationWhat: Jesus to appear publicly for the first time at Wed. press conference, as supporters call for lasting relief for him and other DREAMers
When: 11:00 AM, Wed., Dec 19
Where: Outside 1 Post Street, SF., (Office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein)
Who: Jesus Ruiz Diego, his attorney, family, and supporters
Why: After an outpouring of community support that included a rally in front of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's SF offices last month and a petition drive which garnered some 5,000 signatures, detained DREAMer and aspiring marine Jesus Ruiz Diego was released from ICE detention Dec. 18 after 90 days. However, despite this positive step, Ruiz Diego still faces deportation from the country he has called home since he was four years old.
For supporters, Jesus' case underscores the disconnect between current, unjust detention and deportation policies and the Obama Administration's stated intent and support for creating a reasonable immigration process that keeps families together, via measures like the Dream Act and immigration reform.
At the same time, Ruiz Diego's release shows that discretion - sorely underused by ICE - can indeed be granted in such cases. In the wake of Jesus' release, activists are urging the agency to release two other DREAMers who, like Jesus, spent the vast majority of their lives in the US, but were deported due to dysfunctional immigrant policies and then caught up again in the deportation dragnet. Those cases are Fredi, from Georgia, and Pablicio from Florida.
Supporters are holding the press conference in front of the Senator's office to symbolize their hope for increased leadership from other Senators across the country to protect Dreamers who have previously been unjustly deported from detention and deportation. Specifically, supporters call on Senators Reid and Durbin, leaders on the DREAM Act and immigration reform, to take a stand for these young people and bring them home to their families now.
Background - about Jesús: Jesus came to the United States with his family at the age of four. He attended kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school in San Jose, which he considers his hometown. As the first person in his family and in his neighborhood to graduate from high school, Jesus has served as a role model for his community.
After 9/11, Jesus began dreaming of joining the United States military. He graduated in 2004, with the hope of joining the Marines, but learned he was unable to pursue his dream due to his immigration status. While continuing to dream about joining the Marines one day, Jesus was accepted to college. But because he couldn’t afford it, he decided to find work to support his younger U.S.-citizen-brother and to be able to later go to college.
Surrounded by violence and strangeness, he quickly made his way back to the United States, the place he had considered his home since the age of four. On September 18, 2012, ICE detained Jesus at his workplace and immediately put him in deportation proceedings. He was held at the Yuba County Detention Center until Dec. 18.
In 2008, immigration officers raided Jesus’ home in San Jose and deported him to Mexico. Jesus later learned that back in 1998, when he was an eleven-year old boy, his family had been ordered deported as the result of a withdrawn asylum and unsuccessful suspension of deportation claim. Like so many others trying to navigate the byzantine immigration system, Jesus’ family did not have adequate legal representation. After his deportation at the age of 22, Jesus was living in Mexico for the first time in his life for as long as he could remember.