Threatened by Deportation, Two Immigrant Families Fight Back

Although from different states, two young families from Wisconsin & Illinois are brought together by the need to fight for their families and loved ones

An Albany Park family in deportation proceedings, the young wife of an undocumented immigrant in detention and their children, and local immigrants and members of Organized Communities Against Deportations rallied outside of the Chicago Immigration Customs Enforcements (ICE) offices in defense of loved ones threatened by detention & deportation.

Although Maria Oneida and her two young children left Honduras over a year ago, fleeing violence and economic instability–and have since then successfully integrated into Albany Park’s vibrant community–they may be deported only because ICE considers them “recent immigrants.” Alongside Albany Park and Chicago community members, the family of three called for use of prosecutorial discretion to stop to their deportation.

“We’ve finally found a place we can call home, a place where we feel safe and happy. Here, my children have friends and teachers that they’ve grown used to, and a community they feel supported and loved by. After all we’ve been through, I don’t understand how they could send us to a country that can only offer us violence and poverty”–Maria Oneida.

Manuel Roman has been in the United States since he was 16. He is the loving father of two children. Although he has one misdemeanor for simple possession, he is not priority for deportation according to the Department of Homeland Security’s own criteria. Still, he has remained in immigrant detention for almost a year. Traveling several miles, his family demanded his immediate release.

“I do not want my family to be separated. I want Manuel to get another chance to stay with our family. We need to stay together as a family”–Martha Avila, Manuel Roman’s wife.

As the 5th Circuit Court continues to withhold immigration relief, and as ICE continues to detain an estimated 34,000 immigrants each day, thousands of immigrants and immigrant families across the US continue to suffer under the crushing weight of the US’s dehumanizing detention & deportation systems. Maria and Manuel Roman’s families are experiencing first-hand the cruelty of these systems. They are pushing back by fighting for their loved ones and asking that discretion be exercised to stop the deportations of their loved ones.

Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) is a Chicago-based, undocumented-led, community group organizing against immigration detention and deportation.

Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) is a Chicago-based, undocumented led, community group organizing against immigration detention and deportation.