Rep. Huffman and Northern California Congressional Colleagues Fight for Justice for Hugo Mejia & Rodrigo Nuñez
Washington, D.C.- Today, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) joined forces with Representatives Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin), Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove), Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), Anna G. Eshoo (D-Menlo Park), Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), and Ro Khanna (D-San Jose) to fight for justice for Hugo Mejia and Rodrigo Nuñez, two upstanding residents of Northern California who have been imprisoned by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, and kept from their families for over one month.
In the letter sent today to ICE, the members of Congress urge the agency to exercise prosecutorial discretion in these deportation cases and seriously consider available alternatives to expedited deportation; specifically, they urge ICE to grant a stay of removal or cancel the reinstatement of their expedited removal orders and issue new notices to appear. This would allow the men a much-needed opportunity to present their legal case to delay deportation and earn permanent, legal resident status.
“Rodrigo and Hugo, both fathers of U.S. citizen children, do not belong in jail, occupying costly space that should be reserved for criminals who are threats to public safety,” said Rep. Huffman. “These men have been contributing members of their communities for years and should have an opportunity to make their strong case for legal status. They certainly do not belong in prison far from their families, while their legal options are pursued.”
“President Trump has stated that he is sympathetic to many undocumented immigrants…,” wrote the Representatives in the letter. “In March, the President told business leaders that his deportation plans were aimed at “getting really bad dudes out of this country.” ICE should act in accordance with these sentiments with regards to the Mejia and Nunez families.”
Both Mr. Mejia and Mr. Nuñez are beloved members of their communities, have no criminal record, and have lived and worked in the United States for many years. Their U.S. citizen children have been separated from their dads for over a month and would suffer extreme hardship if their fathers were permanently taken from them.
Enclosed with the congressional letter are hundreds of letters and personal statements of support, and a petition which generated 1,500 signatures from Mr. Mejia and Mr. Nuñez’s respective communities within days of their arrest.
The full text of the lawmakers’ letter can be found HERE.