We, the undersigned, write to demand that you take immediate action and release Jose E. Lopez Melgar (A# 088-96-9036) from the Krome Detention Center.
On April 9th, without provocation, Jose along with his mother and sister, were terrorized and surrounded by ICE agents and Collier County police officers as they were returning to their home from purchasing groceries. Agents demanded to see immigration documents from the family, to which Ana, Jose’s mother, said that she needed to retrieve from inside the house.
After being threatened with detention by an officer, Ana requested to see a court-ordered warrant for entry and search of her house. None was provided, and officers entered anyways, tearing through the family’s belongings while Ana retrieved her work authorization permit and her son’s immigration proceeding documents and USCIS receipt of letters. The documents were subsequently seized by an officer and Ana was told that the documents were being confiscated.
As if demeaning Jose’s mother by calling her a “criminal” and “illegal” was bad enough, Jose was beaten repeatedly by officers, who erroneously accused him of having a gang affiliation.
Jose was then taken to the Collier County Jail, and is now at Krome Detention Center. Jose was diagnosed with a mental disability under the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) program, for which he graduated from in Fort Myers, Florida. Ana, Jose’s mother, who herself suffers from Lupus, along with family, friends, and community, are extremely apprehensive about Jose’s mental and physical condition.
Such treatment by ICE agents and the Collier County Police Department is unacceptable and should not be tolerated by administrators of either organization. Such violence and complete disregard for civil and human rights will not tolerated by communities in Collier County; Florida; or the United States.
According to the memo issued by John Morton, Jose is not a priority for deportation and should be released immediately, granted favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion, and a full investigation of officers’ behavior should be pursued.
We, the undersigned, urge you to release Jose E. Lopez Melgar (A#088-96-9036) from Krome Detention Center immediately.