The Ulster Immigrant Defense Network (UIDN) has in recent weeks been assisting a Kingston family under threat of separation due to an ICE detention. The UIDN has provided assistance that has helped bring this family back together.
The family (who have chosen to keep their identity and many details of their case confidential) consists of two immigrant parents and a two year old son. They reside in Kingston and the father was detained by ICE (Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents in early June and faced imminent deportation.
The Family came to the UIDN for support. They had retained a lawyer for consultation, but were in need of financial assistance to pay the lawyer to proceed with the case, the next step being a bond hearing. They also were not totally confident in their current lawyer, and wanted to hire a lawyer they had heard about with more experience in immigration law. The Ulster Immigrant Defense Fund (UIDF) was able to provide financial assistance that allowed the family to retain the lawyer they wanted, the goal being to allow the family to be reunited for as long as possible with the father released on bond and able to return to work to support the family.
UIDN volunteers provided transportation and accompaniment for the mother to the bond hearing, and the judge presiding stated that their presence at the court demonstrated to her that the father had the support of the local community. The outcome was more favorable than anyone had predicted with the bond set much lower than expected. The father has been released on bail, is home, the family has been reunited and is now in the process of rebuilding their lives. According to their lawyer, they should have at least a two year respite from the father’s deportation while their new lawyer fights the deportation order in the courts, during which time the father can return to work to help provide for the family.
The mother said the following about the family’s experience:
“My husband was arrested by ICE and locked up in jail for a month and a half, he was about to be deported. The first few weeks were very difficult for me and my 2-year-old son. Family and friends helped me as much as they could, but not with everything I needed because they also had their work or family that demanded their time. But I thank God for putting me in touch with […] Myrna and this organization because thanks to them I could have all the support that I needed, such as transportation to go to see my husband’s lawyer, as well as the financial support they gave me to pay the lawyer. Thanks to that, I did not have to borrow more money. On my husband’s day in court, I was able to go without problems thanks to you, and the judge commented that my husband must have the support of the community when she saw that two representatives of your organization were there to support him. My husband and I are very grateful to you for taking the time to support me and for doing your best to ensure the well being of me and my son during those times. Thank you, and God bless you always.”
If you would like to assist the UIDN in the important work the network is doing in defense of our immigrant friends and neighbors, please consider making a donation to the Ulster Immigrant Defense Fund [CLICK HERE], or sign up to volunteer with the UIDN by filling out the volunteer registration form on the UIDN website [CLICK HERE] Thank you for your support.