The following statement may be attributed to Juan Hernandez, District Leader of 32BJ SEIU Connecticut:
“We join community members and legislators in calling for a halt to the scheduled deportation of Luis Barrios tomorrow. A married father of four U.S.-citizen children, Mr. Barrios has no criminal record, has lived in this country for a quarter century, and has cause to fear his own murder if he is returned to Guatemala. The continued refusal of the Department of Homeland Security to consider the pleas of his family, his church members, and his U.S. Senators and Congresswoman stands as an act of bureaucratic barbarism.
“Mr. Barrios applied for asylum in this country in 1992. But as the case dragged on for years, Mr. Barrios changed residences and didn’t receive his eventual court notice, resulting in an order of deportation in absentia. Since returning to the radar of Immigration and Custom Enforcement after being stopped for a broken taillight in 2011, Mr. Barrios has complied with the government’s requirement for annual check-ins and been granted annual stays of removal. Now, despite his compliance, the Trump administration has chosen to carry out the 1998 deportation order. Over this long period, Mr. Barrios’ father and brother were both murdered, and his wife’s family has suffered several kidnappings, making the validity of his initial asylum petition all the more evident. The Trump administration’s pursuit of Mr. Barrios’ deportation is morally indefensible. It must be reversed today.”
With more than 163,000 members in 11 states and Washington DC, including 4,000 members in the Hudson Valley, 32BJ is the largest building service workers union in the country.