Deported for selling tamales in front of Walmart?
Rally and press conference for Juana Reyes, a Sacramento mother who has lived in the US for over 20 years after undocumented entry, protesting her arrest and possible deportation.
Juana is still facing deportation. But today, she bravely fought back by going public with her story with the help of her attorney Julia Vera, and community supporters in a short news conference and gathering at the Florin Wal-Mart.
Juana has been a Californian for over 20 years, and has two young children who were born here. She attends church and has no criminal record. She'd been selling tamales to patrons and workers outside the Florin Wal-Mart for two years without incident -- until a new security guard unfairly tried to kick her out. Sheriffs' deputies came and arrested her on trumped up charges that were all dropped. But once you're caught in the deportation pipeline, it's very hard to get out.
Right now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can ask our local jails to hold any person arrested for extra time, just for deportation purposes. This detention can result in weeks and months of jail time for a person who has no criminal record and no criminal charges pending, just like in Juana's case. This hurts our local government budgets too. To make matters worse, other nearly bankrupt local resources are necessary to deal with the consequences, such as the cost to CPS (child protective services) for housing children of single parents arrested and detained for ICE. In Juana's case, CPS took her 2 children, 7 and 10 years old and placed them in foster homes while their mother was unjustly incarcerated. And who bore the cost? Sacramento County.
We need to stop Juana's deportation -- AND make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else. Because ICE put a "hold" request on Juana after she was booked into jail, she was cruelly held for extra time and at local expense -- just so that ICE could pick her up and initiate deportation proceedings.
But we have a solution moving forward in California that would make sure people like Juana will no longer be unfairly trapped in our local jails. The TRUST Act (AB 1081), by Assembly member Ammiano, is the antidote to the hateful approach taken by states like Arizona. It limits unfair detentions in local jails for immigration purposes and would make sure local governments create plans to monitor against profiling. The bill just passed the Senate and after a final vote in the Assembly will head to the Governor's desk.