Javier* is a loving husband and father who has resided in the Washington D.C. area for more than a decade. He has two young children, ages three and nine which depend on him for emotional and financial stability, as well as an extended family and community who have called DC their home for almost three decades. Like so many immigrants in the DMV area, Javier works in the restaurant industry, supporting his family as a dishwasher.
In July 2018, Javier was arrested by ICE in Columbia Heights after MPD officers conducted an investigatory stop and called ICE to the scene. As we later discovered, his arrest was part of a large-scale ICE operation in the District that has drawn public outrage and condemnation. Javier was incarcerated for nearly two months as his family, community, and counsel fought for his just release. On top of seeking to deport him, the government also sought criminal prosecution against him for entering the country.
Javier is currently fighting for his right to remain with his family and community and fearful of his safety should he be deported. The family is suffering severe economic hardship from his incarceration and cannot afford the expensive attorney fees. Without a lawyer to assist him, Javier is likely to be denied humanitarian relief, deported and separated from his young family and community in DC.
*Name changed out of concern for privacy and retaliation*