Governor Newsom, Please Help Keep Charles Joseph Home!

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On May 16, 2019, Charles Robert Joseph was arrested by ICE agents for deportation. Charles is a father, husband, artist, musician, and Indo-Fijian leader. He is an incredibly valuable member of our community. He is detained at the Mesa Verde Detention Center, a for-profit immigration detention facility in Bakersfield, California. He will be deported to Fiji and separated from his family unless
Governor Newsom grants a pardon for a crime he committed when he was 22 years old.

Charles was born in Fiji, and came to this country at the age of 14 as a lawful permanent resident. He came with his parents and siblings. Charles’s mother, wife, and children are all U.S. citizens. Charles’s grandparents were also U.S. citizens. At the age of 15 years old, Charles’s father was deported to Fiji. Charles and his father were inseparable.They would go golfing together and spend an immense amount of time together. But without a father figure at home, things got tough. Charles’s mother, Alumita, had a hard time taking care of the children maintaining a full time job at the California Franchise Tax Board. Losing his father put Charles on a path of anger, frustration, and instability—and at the age of 22 years old, he committed a crime which landed him in prison. This conviction now makes him deportable, and the immigration judge cannot grant discretionary relief—even though Charles has legally resided in the United States most of his life, and has completely rehabilitated.

Charles transformed his life in prison. He became actively involved in violence prevention programs, while developing his exceptional art and musical talents. He became a violence prevention leader, elected by his peers as representative of the Men’s Advisory Council, where he negotiated grievances and prevented violence within a dangerous prison system. According to correctional staff, Charles regularly shared his skills in classes by leading discussions, demonstrating humility and self-awareness about his own process of rehabilitation, and holding each person accountable in their growth as men, husbands and fathers.” He raised money for and worked with Special Olympians, and created original music for a performance of Shakespeare’s Pericles.

Please sign the petition and tell Governor Newsom to grant Charles Joseph a pardon!