Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released brothers Michell and Yasser Valle from Newark’s Delaney Hall just in time for Thanksgiving with their family and children. They had come from Peru to the U.S. seventeen years ago but after their mother lost her right to stay in the United States, they were detained by ICE and have spent months separated from their family in the Community Education Centers (John Clancy and Bill Palatucci) facility.
Over 2,000 people signed petitions on behalf of their release. Congratulations to the NJ-Dream Act-Coalition and the support of Kathy Wargo O’Leary’s Pax Christi for this victory. As immigrant attorney Yael Bromberg explains “This is where the rubber hits the road in the national paradigm following Obama’s new policy and supposed practice of prosecutorial discretion. Let’s hope this is just the beginning.”
Because they were arrested while in college, have a family here, and lived so long in the USA, they might even meet Newt Gingrich’s recently stated policy calling for humane treatment for otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for decades, establishing deep family and community ties. Amidst all the drivel of the recent Republican debates, candidates have been trying to outdo each other by pushing ever further into the dark recesses of the far right. Firebrand Gingrich might have upset those who can only love Darth Vader, but he actually provided a reasoned proposal, which, while it does not go far enough, at least brings some light, compassion and reason to an issue which in conservative circles is bereft of all such attributes.
For more about these Passaic brothers and their family see koleary’s diary Work Hard, Go To School, End In Jail.