Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ask ICE not to separate a young woman from her family

A fast-growing petition campaign, initiated by a student who fought his own deportation, calls on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to halt the deportation of Jennifer Lopez, a young woman who does not meet new deportation guidelines.

In just a few hours, hundreds of people have joined a campaign on Change.org calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to halt the deportation of 21-year-old Jennifer Lopez, a DREAM Act-eligible woman in Palm Beach.

Photo credit: Change. org
The campaign on Change.org was launched by Manuel Guerra, a leader of the South Florida student activist group Students Working for Immigrant Rights who himself successfully won a fight against deportation after nearly 800 people signed a petition on Change.org. Guerra launched the campaign for Lopez after he heard she was placed in removal proceedings following a routine traffic stop.

Student activists say that under new guidelines issued by the Department of Homeland Security, Lopez does not meet the criteria for deportation because she
  • she has no criminal background, 
  • was brought to the country as a young child, and 
  • cares for two critically ill and handicapped siblings, both of whom are U.S. citizens. 
“I still cannot believe that despite the announcement of the new deportation policy by of the White House, we still see people like Jennifer Lopez put into deportation proceedings, after getting stopped by the police,” said Manuel Guerra, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “This shouldn't be happening anymore. I think she deserves the same chance as I do: a chance for the American Dream. We are not criminals, we are just people who want to live normal lives like anybody else.”

News of the online petition campaign’s success is likely to increase pressure on Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Within hours of the campaign’s launch, Manuel Guerra had gathered more than 200 signatures on Change.org. The activists plan to launch a social media campaign, and at the current rate of growth, the petition is expected to have more than 1,000 supporters by next week.

Border Explorer endorses the effort and hopes you will add your name to the list of petition supporters.

“It’s been inspiring to watch this campaign take off,” said Change.org Director of Organizing Jackie Mahendra. “Manuel Guerra benefited when his friends started a campaign for him on Change.org. That campaign was successful in stopping his deportation, and now he is fighting for Jennifer through the Change.org platform. The fact that the campaign has grown so quickly demonstrates that Jennifer's story is resonating with others, too.”

Jennifer Lopez is currently in deportation proceedings and is likely to receive a hearing within three weeks.

1 comment:

Sherry Peyton said...

Thanks Billie, I surely will go over!