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Bay Area Activists Help Free Mexican Immigrant from ICE

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If you recall, earlier this month we ran an article about Jose, a Mexican artist who’d been in the US for over 20 years. Despite having established a family and a home in this country, Jose was detained by ICE and placed in an immigration jail since September of last year.

We have some good news! Jose was released and it was all possible because of Bay Area activists like yourself. Here’s the rundown about it from Alejandra Rosero, an attorney for Dolores Street Community Services, the organization that represented Jose and got him out of the detention center:

In honor of Father’s Day and in solidarity to thousands of detained immigrant fathers who have been ripped away from their children as they fight their deportation, Dolores Street Community Services joined forces with the Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund, Freedom for Immigrants, and the Bay Area Sanctuary Neighborhoods to launch the campaign #FreeOurFathers to bring fathers back to their children for Father’s Day.

Thanks to #FreeOurFathers and the support and resilience of the community, Jose— an immigrant father who has lived in the Bay Area for more than 20 years – regained his freedom and is back with his nine-year old daughter.

Jose spent nine-months in detention just because he was unrepresented and did not have the means to afford bond. He was only able to walk out the infamous door of the detention facility because the community united and fought for his freedom.

Linda Olvera, who is a volunteer for Freedom for Immigrants and took Jose to his family after he was released from the detention center described Jose’s reunion with his daughter as an “unbelievable moment.” She said, “His daughter did not know Jose had been released. She was outside playing and she spotted him the minute he got out of the car and came running to hug him while screaming ‘papa, papa!’ They hugged each other for a long time.”

The case of Jose was not an isolated one. ICE detains hundreds of parents in the Bay Area, depriving their children of a caregiver and quite often a breadwinner. We can help these parents and bring them back to their children. We have to stand up against injustice and fight against the cruel and inhuman practice of separating of families in our communities.

While this is such wonderful and incredible news, there are still so many people who need our help. If you want to get involved and want to help create change you please donate money or volunteer for the following organizations:

Dolores Street Community Services

Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund

Freedom for Immigrants

Bay Area Sanctuary Neighborhoods

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Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.