September 2015 was a historic moment not just for Philadelphia but for the Immigrant Rights movement. In his six days in the U.S. , Pope Francis made justice for immigrants a central point of his visit. He implored to the U.S. Congress that,
“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the second World War…”thousands of persons (who) are led to travel north in search of a better life. We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation…To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal…We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us once were foreigners.”
During his visit in Philadelphia over 100 Juntos members held a vigil and sunrise procession to Independence Hall from our office in South Philadelphia. One Juntos family was especially touched by his grace. Adamaris, oldest daughter of Alma Sanchez, is fighting with her family for the release of her father and an end to his deportation. While waiting for the Pope this 11 year old created a sign asking for the Pope’s help. While arriving the Pope paused to read her sign and give Adamaris a blessing.
We know that this family will be reunited again, and with a blessing from the Pontifex and with support from community and allies we will have Adamaris’ father released.
Photo by Univision 65 Philadelphia
At 6am this morning Pablo Fabian Cardenas was put on a plane to Ecuador by ICE and deported, leaving behind his wife and two sons, Ismael and Erick.
Maria Elena, Pablo’s wife, wanted to share this message to all of you:
“I want to thank each and every one of you for all the support you gave me and my family during this difficult time, for all the calls and signatures that were made. I know that my husband thanks you all as well. God bless you for all your efforts. We must keep fighting.”
At Juntos, we agree with Maria Elena. She’s a clear example of the strength and dedication our families have to stay together and fight back against the deportation machine.
By following through with this deportation, ICE has made it abundantly clear that their priorities are not about justice but are and have always been about tearing apart families. We can’t let that happen. We must fight for our loved ones. As the Executive Order is held up in court, essentially stalling relief for millions of people, enforcement has increased.
Pablo was not just victim to an unjust immigration system but also of an unjust criminal system, one that has historically abused people of color and was built for many like him to enter but for very few to ever get out.
Please don’t let this be the last case you support. We didn’t stop Pablo’s removal, but there’s still a chance for Pedro in Connecticut. Please click here and sign for him. Maria Elena, Pablo and their family would want that.
En la lucha,
Erika, Miguel, Jasmine and the rest of the Juntos family