With Pope Francis and Catholic leaders throughout the United States, the Ignatian Solidarity Network advocates for humane immigration solutions that protect the dignity of all people involved in our out-of-date immigration system, including calling for policies that sustain the continuity of family life for mothers, fathers, and children.

Juan Rodríguez is a husband and father of three daughters — including a recent graduate and a current student at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory of Houston. He works diligently to support his family as an auto-mechanic and is an active member of his church. Since 2007, Juan has made periodic check-ins at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Houston because he is an immigrant in the country without proper documentation, having entered the U.S. when his oldest daughter Karen was just nine months old to be with her and his wife Celia. 

On February 10, when Juan made his regular visit to the ICE office, he was told that federal policy directives were changing and that he would soon be deported. He pleaded with the ICE officials, including asking if his deportation could be delayed until after Karen graduated from Cristo Rey Jesuit on June 3rd (see the Houston Chronicle article describing Juan and Karen’s experience at commencement).

Officials granted a deportation date of June 29, at which point Juan will be returned to El Salvador, a country plagued by gang and drug violence with one of the highest murder rates in the world, as well as limited opportunities to earn money to support his family from afar. Juan had the opportunity to experience Karen’s graduation, but this may be one of the last memories they have together as a family unit.

Grounded in the concept of human dignity, Catholic teaching invites us to advocate for the dignity of all people and the right of people to seek safety and earn wages that enable their families to meet their needs and live safely.

The Ignatian Solidarity Network invites you to join Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha (FIEL), a Houston-based immigrant rights organization, in calling on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to permit Juan Rodríguez to remain in the U.S so that he might sustain his roles as a father, spouse, and member of the Houston community. Join us by signing the petition below organized by FIEL.

 

 

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