Juntos’ Open House; A Celebration with Community and Allies
On Sunday Oct. 4th, 2015 Juntos officially celebrated our new space with an Open House for community and allies. Our move in August to our new office marked a historic moment for Juntos’ and we chose to celebrate with the people who made it happen. And during the Open House we were proud to raffle off three full DACA scholarships for young people who have taken the last few months to apply for DACA with Juntos. A huge thank you to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers who raised the money for the DACA scholarships, DACA clinic and the Open House.
We also want to thank you the lawyers who donated their time and expertise with the DACA applications. Thank you to the teachers and Juntos volunteers who helped set up and run the clinic and the Open House. Thank you to the members of the board for your work on making the Open House happen. And thank you to all the community members who became sustainers, people who are now donating monthly to the organization. To become a sustainer as well visit our donation page right now and sign up today.
Sunday really reminded us all that Juntos is an organization made by the community, supported by the community and for the community! Sí se puede!
In reaction to the recent decision in Texas by Judge Andrew Hanan, to enjoin President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration, Juntos issues the following statement:
The decision by Judge Hanen comes as no surprise and is a clear example of anti-immigrant sentiment in this country that goes all the way up to our judicial system. We know that this lawsuit is nothing but a political stunt that represents out of touch anti-immigrant elected officials across this country. This is about politics: not law, not justice. Hundreds of legal scholars have already agreed, way before this decision was made, that the President’s executive action is constitutional and well within his authority. We are confident that this decision will be overturned promptly by appeal.We as a community are unfortunately used to racist and anti-immigrant tactics like this one to stall the progress made by our growing and vocal community.
Here in Pennsylvania we have had to deal with anti-immigrant sentiments like bills SB-9 and Arizona’s SB1070 predecessors in Hazelton, PA as well as the hyper criminalization of our people in the immigration and criminal system and all the way to local Philadelphia columnists using words like “illegal” to describe our families. All of these measures are scare tactics used by the extreme right, just as the injunction in Texas is an attempt to scare our families into not applying for DACA and DAPA….but we don’t scare so easily. We were not afraid to shut down ICE before to stop our families from being deported, we were not afraid to fight against the injustice of the Poli-migra in our community and to fight for the end of the use of ICE Holds, and we are not scared now. We will continue to work to defend our families until ALL 11 million + of our undocumented brothers and sister have access to a full and dignified life in this country and until the suffering of mass deportations have ended.
Thousands upon thousands of families are affected by this decision in Philadelphia and in the state of Pennsylvania thousands more. Our families will keep getting ready to apply and getting their documents in order, as we know this is only temporary. We thank Mayor Nutter for being one of the Mayors who filed an amicus brief in support of Deferred Action and for having Philadelphia, one of the largest cities in this country, serve as an example to others on how to work with community to make the changes needed to be a more welcoming city to immigrants. As the legal battle continues we call upon other elected officials to take the necessary steps to protect immigrants from the deportation machine, including the President of the United States and we urge the 5th Circuit US Court of Appeals to take this case up immediately because millions of people cannot wait any longer.
En la Lucha,
Hi, my name is _________ I am calling to ask Director Decker to release Victor Ibarra Jimenez (A#076-579-661) and Francisco Ivan Avila Canela (A#200688743). They should be able to return to their families and fight their deportation cases from home. Thank you.
Victor Ibarra Jimenez is detained at York County Correctional Facility. He is the father of three children, two of which are U.S. citizens, who are 12, 8 and 6 years old and has been living in the United States for a decade now. He is a construction worker and resident of Norristown, Pennsylvania, known for caring about his community and family. In March he got into a small fender bender and instead of being issued a ticket at the site of the accident he was mailed an order to appear in court. He went to court to pay his ticket and was unnecessarily fingerprinted by the court, an action that lead to Victor’s arrest by ICE on May 15th, 2014.
Victor and his wife, Maritza, moved to the United States after the death of their daughter. Their first child was born with severe asthma and and suffered a severe asthma attack as baby. She was brought to the hospital by her mother and was forced to wait for hours to see the doctor. The baby died in her mother’s arms in the hospital waiting room just feet away from physicians. A few days later Maritza gave birth to her oldest son who born with the same asthma condition. After the birth of their son and the death of their daughter the family decided to move to the United States to be able to access proper medical attention for all their sons, all of whom suffer from the same medical condition. Maritza is currently working two jobs to be able to provide for her children.
Francisco Ivan Avila Canela is detained at York County Correctional Facility. He is the father of 2 U.S. citizen children, who are 9 and 3 years old and has been living in the United States for a decade now. He is a cook in two restaurants and resident of Norristown, Pennsylvania, known for caring about his community and family.
Francisco was picked up by ICE on April 21st, 2014 as he was finishing doing laundry with his family. As he was about to drive home from the laundry mat he was asked out of his car by ICE agents and arrested in front of his wife and children. His wife suffers from epilepsy and despite her doctor’s warnings is currently working two jobs to support her children while her husband is detained.While living in Mexico Francisco had been kidnapped and ransomed. His family was able to pay for the ransom and he was released, but the experience has obviously left Francisco scared to return to Mexico. On August 6th he passed his reasonable fear interview but is continuing to be held.