For immediate release: Nov 7, 2014
Community labor leader Francisco Aguirre RELEASED!
Community celebrates with relief and resolves to continue to work for freedom and justice for all undocumented people and their families
Photo and video embedded below.
UPDATE, 8:07 am, Saturday Nov 8: Aguirre was released from Multnomah County Justice Center at approximate 10:04 pm Friday, Nov 7, 2014, to his wife and a crowd of approximately 20 supporters who had been patiently waiting outside the jail since 8:00 pm that evening. He is back in sanctuary at Augustana Lutheran church with his family and community. His federal case will be heard on January 13, 2015.
After smiling with his fist raised to the gathered crowd, and hugging his wife, Aguirre began to speak:
“When i was inside,” he said, with a dramatic pause, “I met so many brothers that this injustice system has put them in jail. They have similar cases. They get picked up on the street, in their homes, ICE showed up with no warrant, they get detained. Now they are in the process of being deported, of being separated from their kids. ‘Don’t forget us,’ they say, “because we are here.’ So we have to keep fighting for our brothers and sisters, because they can’t do anything. but we can.”
“We are very thankful that justice was served today and that Francisco is now reunited with me and his three children tonight,” said Rosa Navarro, speaking on behalf on the Aguirre family. “We are also hopeful that ICE will respect his U-visa process and that my husband can come home and be with his family in peace, without fear of persecution from ICE.”
Please join us for an Interfaith Service to celebrate the reunion of Francisco Aguirre with his family and to remember the 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States, and to call for the immediate administrative relief that can prevent the pain and anguish of the 1100 individuals who are separated from their families each day through deportation.
The Interfaith Service for Freedom will be held at Augustana Lutheran Church at 6:00 pm on Sunday, November 9, 2014, at 2710 NE 14th Ave (Corner of NE 15th Ave and NE Knott).
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VIDEO: Community labor leader Francisco Aguirre Released! (Video: Peter Parks; Music: Francisco Aguirre)
Portland, ORe. — Today a federal judge ordered the temporary release of community labor leader Francisco Aguirre. Aguirre spent 45 days in sanctuary with the support of hundreds of community leaders from faith, labor and immigrant rights organizations. He was arrested yesterday after he appeared at the Clackamas County Courthouse where he was accepted into the diversion program.
According to an AP report, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed ICE has lifted its detainer on Aguirre, meaning his removal from the U.S. is on hold pending the outcome of his federal case.
“Today is an incredible day of justice for Francisco and his family. We applaud the judge’s decision, and it is a good feeling to know that in Oregon, you can find justice and a humane approach to treat our brothers and sisters as they deserve. We will not stop until there is not one more deportation,” said Pastor Mark Knutson of Augustana Lutheran Church, where Francisco stayed in sanctuary.
“We are very thankful that justice was served today and that Francisco can be reunited with me and his three children tonight. We are also hopeful that ICE will respect his U-visa process and that my husband can come home and be with his family in peace, without fear of persecution from ICE,” said Rosa Navarro, on behalf on the Aguirre family.
The coalition Unidos Con Francisco (United with Francisco in English) held a rally shortly before his hearing as well as packed the courtroomroom with dozens of supporters. They are awaiting his final release to greet him and celebrate this amazing ruling by the court.
The group plans to ensure that he is indeed safe from detention, as well as to continue efforts of the sanctuary movement to support other Oregonians in positions similar to that of Francisco.
A statement from Francisco will be released as soon as he is safe and out of the justice center. Additionally there is expected to be over a thousand people, including faith and spiritual leaders, elected officials, and community leaders who will gather Sunday at 6pm at Augustana Lutheran church to celebrate his return and continue the fight for immigrant justice.