As you may already know Pancho was released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on November 18th. Pancho’s release comes, in great part, thanks to you and everyone around the world who rallied to sign this petition. You helped us gather an astounding 8,500 signatures along with scores ofletters in less than two days forcing ICE and government officials to recognize our power as a community.
While Pancho’s release is an enormous and rare victory, the movement has only begun. ICE has demanded that Pancho return to court soon to address the the federal immigration hold on him and we know they will not give him up easily. That is why we need to keep the pressure on ICE and the U.S. government to unconditionally release Pancho, now!
During Pancho’s recent arrest riot police asked Pancho where he is from and Pancho replied “I am a citizen of the World”. Now we need to join Pancho and elevate the Occupy Wall Street dialogue to include building more "constructive programs" that meet the needs of people and communities outside the current system of greed and violence. As our brother Pancho said on Democracy Now!, “We need to use our resources to build more health clinics, fix our bridges, open more schools, and create meaningful livelihoods. However, some people in the 1% are using those resources to harass peaceful, nonviolent people who are looking to create harmonious communities.” He went on to say, "We don't have an economic crisis, but a crisis of priorities."
There are thousands of community organizers just like Pancho around the country that face these unjust and draconian deportations propelled by ICE and the poorly described, Secure Communities program. These deportations of innocent people have been enforced through a frenzied, politically driven narrative that, instead of holding big banks accountable, has scapegoated the most downtrodden populations of the United States, including immigrant communities.
Please join us in demanding that ICE drop all immigration holds against Pancho and that the Obama administration keep their promise and cancel further deportations of the thousands of peaceful people across the country that are facing imminent and heart-wrenching separation from their families and communities.
As Pancho recently said “We need to grow a community that one day allows us to make a bonfire of visas and passports, say no to all borders and YES to a transformation of our world!”