My wife Videlbina and I are of heavy heart as one more person close to us is suffering injustice and inhumanity in the face of a system that mistreats the poor who come from other lands to escape various forms of violence and oppression. We make this appeal to ask that you contribute a modest amount for the legal fees for Videlbina’s brother, Adalberto Aquiles Flores, who has been held, detained by U.S. Immigration, in the Essex County Jail in Newark, New Jersey since June 15th, even though he is a legal U.S. resident. We are seeking to raise $1,200 (and already have one pledge for $400).
This is but the latest part of a saga that began just over three years ago when a relative of his wife, Clelia, falsely accused Aquiles of a crime to hit her where it hurt most, as part of an ongoing family feud. Upon possibly poor advice from his lawyer, he did a plea bargain in which he admitted to a supposedly non-deportable misdemeanor, and was released with his sentence being time served. This is the crux of the matter, that he is falsely considered to be a criminal and therefor must be deported. He has since spent a total of seven months in jail, he and his wife have spent nearly $40,000 in legal and bail bond fees, and Aquiles, an incredibly stoic person, passes moments of despair locked up and locked into a system which seeks to dehumanize him. Videlbina and I have gone to visit him a few times, and she has lately been going, taking the bus, almost every weekend.
Aquiles is a wonderful part of the family, and is a person of fine moral character. He has been a leader in an AA group for nearly 20 years and has almost daily counseled many people, especially young men, to make good choices in life. He is an expert carpenter, and has contributed much to his community and to his family in El Salvador. Before he left his country, he helped establish the first high school ever in his home town, Pasaquina, and was a well-respected teacher there. He also was key in getting a National Guard’s post, associated with much abuse of the population, removed from the center of his town, and was successful in making abandoned municipal land available for homeless families to build homes on. Unfortunately, these good acts also created enemies and he was obligated to flee for his life, to seek safety in the United States about 30 years ago.
His next hearing, in immigration court, is October 24th and I, Paul, will be there. They live a very modest life, in a tiny apartment, Clelia continues to work as a hotel maid, even though she reached retirement age three years ago, and they are stretched way beyond their limits. We have given them support, and ask that you also consider doing do.
Paul & Videlbina
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