Lazaro’s campaign is still ongoing and hasn’t stopped. Since the weekend, we have been able to collect 400+ signatures! Maria is very grateful to those that have supported her and her husband’s family and wishes to have Lazaro back home soon. You can still help! If you haven’t signed the petition, there’s still time. If you did, you can call ICE and tell them to release Lazaro because he’s not a priority for DHS.
We’ve connected with local media outlets to bring attention to Lazaro’s story. Unfortunately, Lazaro’s case isn’t special. In the state of Florida, the Secure Communities program allows police officers to identify people suspected of being undocumented through their fingerprinting databases. This is how Lazaro was identified.
Secure Communities is sold as a program, whose main objective is to identify individuals who are a public safety and national security risk. In an administrative change last year, ICE officials were told to use “prosecutorial discretion” to identify who is deported or not. These individuals would have to meet criteria including an extended period of time in the country, family ties and no criminal history. Lazaro fits this profile perfectly. ICE should use their discretion to release him but haven’t done so yet.
Media outlets have picked up on this story for what it represents–an injustice happening through the seperation of a family. It has criminalize the act of love of a parent who took his child to the hospital. No parent should have to choose whether or not to take their child to the hospital out of fear of deportation.
Maria wants to highlight her story as a lesson for the police department to learn: “don’t collaborate with ICE. it’s making our communities unsafe because people will fear you just like they fear immigration officials”.
Please follow updates on the case at our blog and learn more about immigration issues.