Jose Bello is a father, student, and beloved community member from Bakersfield who has been taken into custody by ICE, and now needs your support to secure his freedom. His Bakersfield community has organized to liberate him before, and the goal is to do it again.
We're raising $10K for now to cover legal fees and anticipating a high bond (an ICE officer even threatened Jose with a $50,000 bond given how much community support he's received).
Earlier this year, Jose received a DUI under shady circumstances. He could not afford a lawyer to fight his case and did not know his rights when he was detained, resulting in a no contest charge in his case. Jose has been doing community service as part of the deal for his no contest charge, and had not drank since. Jose has been compliant with all fines and has responsibly attended all of his hearings until the day he was apprehended by ICE.
Despite this, ICE is attempting to doubly punish him by incarcerating him again. Additionally, his arrest by ICE happened conveniently a day after Jose read a poem describing his incarceration at the Kern County Truth Forum, which drew media attention.
Jose self medicated to cope with the brutal conditions he was exposed to in Mesa Verde. Instead of receiving help, treatment, and the ability to rehabilitate himself, ICE wants to continue punishing him by putting him back in the place where his trauma is rooted. If we are to fight for the rights of immigrants, we must do so for folks who have been criminalized, because it is rehabilitation and not incarceration that will help our communities heal and prosper.