Adolfo Garcia Diaz and Julio Diaz Sales, Mam-speaking Mayan immigrants from Guatemala, were both 17 years old when ICE agents raided their home and beat them on November 19, 2008. The agents had mistakenly targeted their home in Homestead, Florida during a multi-city operation directed at a sex trafficking network. Neither of the young men nor their housemates was charged with any crimes, and neither have criminal histories.
Adolfo and Julio both stand under 5’5″ tall, were unarmed, and posed no physical threat. They were both lying face down on the floor in handcuffs when they were kicked in the face. Then they were detained for immigration violations only. They were so bloodied and bruised when they arrived at the immigration detention center, that the head of the facility and the Guatemalan consul, who visited them, both expressed alarm.
Although Adolfo and Julio cooperated with a federal criminal investigation into the beatings and were granted certifications by the U.S. Attorney’s Office demonstrating that cooperation, ICE is now demanding they return to their native country.
Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) and WeCount! have sent a letter to the national director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), John Morton, calling on him to stop the deportation of these two hard-working young men. They deserve to be treated justly after having their civil rights brutally violated. Until ICE accepts responsibility for the actions of their agents, they will continue to abuse their power.
Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) has been fighting for the American dream since its founding in 1996. One of the nation’s largest non-profit immigration law firms, AI Justice represents vulnerable immigrants at no charge. This direct service work informs its broader policy work. AI Justice influences national policy; successfully litigates or otherwise challenges patterns of abuse; and educates the public about the impact immigration laws and directives have on our communities. AI Justice is dedicated to protecting and promoting the basic human rights of immigrants. Please visit www.aijustice.org for more information.