ICE Continues Push to Deport Josue Diaz and Members of “Southern 32,” But Judge Urges Reconsideration
New Orleans, LA – This week, Josue Diaz and three other members of the Southern 32 appeared before the New Orleans immigration court to find out whether or not ICE would take the next step toward deporting them for standing up to their abusive employer. The lawyer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrived in court pressing for the deportation cases to move forward and refused to back down despite a mounting call to close it from supporters around the country.
However, the Immigration Judge refused to move forward today with Josue’s deportation case and concluded the hearing giving ICE more time to consider the prosecutorial discretion requests, despite the fact that ICE did not request more time. He also announced we would take this time to consider closing the cases over ICE’s objection.
Jacinta Gonzalez, lead organizer for the Stand Up 2012: Make Justice Real campaign, left the courtroom saying, “the immigration judge is sending a message to ICE, giving them a second chance. How many more times do they need to hear it? It’s time they actually take their own protections seriously and stop trying to deport Josue and the Southern 32.”
Leaving court, Josue Diaz, labor leader and member of the Southern 32, stated, “I knew it was wrong when were treated so unfairly and that I had to stand up. I wasn’t scared then, standing up against discrimination on the worksite and I’m not scared to stand up now for the constitution. Today, we renew our demand that ICE close deportation proceedings for me and all of the Southern 32. We are standing up for ourselves and for people across the country who defend the rights of their communities.”
“The continued attempts by the Southern ICE office to push for the deportation of these grassroots labor leaders confirms they are not only failing to implement the Obama Administration’s directive, but that they are actually hostile to this policy and the workers they should be protecting,” said Jennifer Rosenbaum, Legal Director of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice.
Rosenbaum added, “The review period is over and we hope ICE will grant prosecutorial discretion relief to Josue and all the Southern 32 before our meeting with regional ICE leadership next week.” On Tuesday, May 15th, the Southern 32 will meeting with top officials of the Southern ICE office in New Orleans.
For more information on Stand Up 2012: Make Justice Real, visit www.MakeJusticeReal.org.