ICE continues to criminalize Afghan boy

San Francisco, CA-  On Friday, June Jordan High School students will be delivering a $25,000 check to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release Hamid, a teenager fleeing Afghanistan because of safety concerns with the Taliban and ISIS. Hamid will finally be free after struggling for 6 months in an adult detention center, where he was placed based on an inaccurate dental exam.  

“This is a bittersweet moment. Yeah, it’s great that the bond money got raised, but that money could’ve been given to him for his college tuition.” said graduated senior Christian Ramirez. “He shouldn’t be paying anything to ICE because he hasn’t done anything at all, except not being from the United States.”  

The students are part of a group called 415 Unidos for Freedom. They have been focused on spreading awareness about immigrant rights, while also being a support system for people being unjustly detained. They have been interacting closely with Hamid’s case, and even skipped their senior trip last Monday to visit Hamid at the detention center in Bakersfield.  

“When I asked him if he’s spoken with his mother, he broke down crying because he hasn’t talked to her in over six months,” Alan Gutierrez said. “Thanks to his release, he will have the opportunity to contact his family.”  

Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, the students were able to make a strong connection with Hamid, which gave them the strength to work harder to fight for immediate action of his release.  

Pangea planned to sue ICE if Hamid was still detained by Friday, expending many resources for a single client who should have been released months ago.  “Although we are infinitely grateful for our community, the students, and the many Mosques who supported Hamid, we are just as frustrated by our system" said Hamid's attorney, Mariel Villarreal at Pangea Legal Services. “ICE is systematically criminalizing children and adult asylum seekers alike, and this needs to end."   

Who: Students from 415 Unidos for Freedom

What: Delivering $25,000 bond check to ICE to secure Hamid’s release  

When: June 8, 2018 at 8:30 am

Where: ICE Building, 630 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

Visuals: Check being delivered to ICE, rally by students and community members outside the building