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Take Action to stop deportation of young man from Oceana County

January 13, 2012

Over the past few years, the US government has increased its efforts to target and deport more and more political & economic refugees who have come to this country.

Many in the immigrant community and their allies have been alarmed at the rate at which these deportations have taken place. People have also organized to respond to this unjust policy of deportation through a variety of actions.

Last month we reported on efforts in southern Michigan to prevent the deportation of a mother of three that was successful, in part to the amount of people who objected to the deportation and the coalition of groups that came together to advocate on this woman’s behalf.

Now there is a campaign to prevent the deportation of a young man from Oceana County. The groups involved in the case provide the following background information:

On a November evening of last year 24-year-old Manuel Marron Marquez was relaxing at his home after work in Hart, a small town in Oceana County Michigan. Suddenly a group of armed Federal agents began banging on the front door.

The ICE agents demanded to be let in and claimed they were looking for a person who was on a wanted list as part of a Fugitive Operations detail. Manuel and his family felt they had no choice but to let them in but explained that the person they were looking for did not live there.  In fact they honestly told the agents they did not even know who he was. The agents apparently did not believe them and insisted that Manuel and the others show their identity documents and submit to interrogations. The person they were searching for was not present and it is believed either never lived there or has not been at the address in years.

After determining that Manuel was not in US lawfully, Manuel was then arrested. Although he was not charged with any criminal charges he has been detained in Immigration custody at the Battle Creek jail ever since, including through the holidays, as if he was a grand criminal… Bond was denied by the judge because he does not qualify for any long term relief under current immigration laws. The legal arm of ICE who has been specifically authorized to use prosecutorial discretion particularly for Dream act youths also denied discretion although Manuel is a H.S graduate who has lived in the US almost his whole life.

This is another clear example of how our current immigration policies are not only flawed, but how they impact people and families.

People are being asked to sign an online petition created by One Michigan, a undocumented youth immigration rights group.

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