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In the morning of Dec.10, 2007, armies of ICE and SWAT-like-agents raided seven restaurants of the Reyes family. They ransacked through every corner handcuffing workers as they passed. Simultaneously, agents entered the family’s house, where 3-year-old Josselyne watched how the agents handcuffed her grandparents and mother, Silvia, who was pregnant at that time. Arturo had just dropped off his son Jairo and three daughters at school, on his way back several cop cars pulled him over and arrested him. Silvia spent two weeks in jail, worried about what was happening to her family. Arturo spent 6 months detained, deprived of the love of his family; experiencing how his life was being swallowed away.
ICE had investigated the Reyes family since 2006, for over a year they meticulously planned how to destroy this family’s legacy. The Reyes were absurdly accused of drug trafficking and money laundering. When in fact, the Acambaro restaurant chain had solely been a result of an ambitious, driven and hard-working family. No evidence of drugs or money laundering was found in any of the restaurants, the charges were dropped in court; however, Arturo and Silvia were put in removal proceedings.
It’s been over 7 years since the nightmare began. Today, Arturo and Silvia have been told by ICE to surrender on April 24, 2013.
For 19 years, the Reyes have contributed tremendously to the entire community and economy of Rogers, Arkansas. They currently run three restaurants that employs many members of the community. They consistently make generous monetary and food donations to various churches of different denominations. They also cater schools, sport events, and Dreamer’s events; they make sure that everyone spends a good time and enjoys a good meal.
The Reyes are American in every way but without the paperwork, they are part of the 11 Million who deserve a direct path to citizenship. They raised a beautiful family of six, a DACA-eligible Dreamer and organizer,five U.S. citizens, one boy and four girls of between the ages of 4 and 19 years. They all deserve to stay together.