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NYC Immigrant Advocates: Stop Deportation of Activist Jean Montrevil

Greencard-holding Father of Four and Immigrant Rights Leader Ripped from Family and Detained for Deportation during Holidays

(Press release from NYC New Sanctuary Movement)

December 30, 2009–Despite being a legal immigrant in the United States since 1986, and despite being the husband of a U.S. citizen and father of four U.S. citizen children, Jean Montrevil, a long time community leader and activist, was detained for deportation to Haiti this morning. Mr. Montrevil was attending a regular check in when he was detained by agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Montrevil is facing deportation for a 20-year old conviction, for which he has long since served his sentence; he has never broken any law since.

Mr. Montrevil is a leader in a variety of immigrant rights groups including Families for Freedom and the NYC New Sanctuary Movement (NY NSC) and Detention Watch Network. In his fight for justice on behalf of all immigrants, Mr. Montrevil has gained the support of U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velasquez, and also by NY State Senator Thomas K. Duane and NY State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick.

The NYC New Sanctuary Coalition has called an emergency vigil for 6 p.m. tonight outside the Varick Street ICE Detention Center (Varick and Houston Streets), which will end with a procession to Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, for a 6:30 p.m. service to demand that Mr. Montrevil be released and that ICE stops separating our families and communities. Mr. Montrevil’s wife and children will be present at the service, as well as his many community supporters.

Rev. Michael Ellick, one of Mr. Montrevil’s pastors at Judson Memorial Church, stated: “It is outrageous that ICE is trying to tear this good man from his children at this holiday season. We will not rest until Jean is released and returned to his family and until immigration agents stops tearing our families and communities apart.”

Mr. Montrevil recently applied to be granted “deferred action” on his deportation order. Such deferral is within the discretion of the NYC ICE Director of Detention and Removal Operations, Christopher Shanahan. He was detained today before even receiving a response.

Deportations to Haiti are especially controversial, since that nation suffers from economic, political, and weather-related crises that make it hard to absorb deportees. Haiti’s president has formally requested the United States to grant Temporary Protected Status to Haitians, as has been granted to immigrants from other chaotic nations, but Pres. Obama has so far not supported that request.

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