Help Free Jose

$7,163 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 131 people in 4 months
Jose Sanchez, a DC resident for more than 10 years, was detained by ICE during the July raids in Northwest DC. He is now being held at Farmville Detention Center in Virginia awaiting his immigration court date on December 7. After a bad experience with an incompetent lawyer, Jose has been connected to an excellent immigration attorney but needs funds to cover the legal fees. His partner (soon to be wife) Susan is pictured above. Susan is a US citizen, is three months pregnant with Jose's child, and her bank account was frozen after Jose was detained.

As part of our ongoing work to support our neighbors who were detained in the July raids, Sanctuary DMV is raising funds that will go directly to cover Jose’s legal fees and the costs associated with Susan’s efforts to get him out of detention.

Here’s what Susan has to say:

"My world come to a halt in early July, when Jose was picked up by ICE in Columbia Heights. Jose and I met 3 years ago and about a year ago we fell in love. We work together – he is a chef and I’m a server at a popular DC restaurant.

"That day, Jose left the apartment to pick up some food and never came home. After Jose was picked up, he was missing for almost 13 hours. I made more phone calls than I care to tell you about, and I was told awful things on the phone and in person. I went to the ICE office in Fairfax and was told – all while I was crying – 'you are an American, you’re a beautiful woman – why are you wasting your time with an illegal piece of shit? He should be deported.'

"A few weeks into Jose being detained, I found out I was pregnant. I have been working 7 days a week, 11 to 13-hour shifts, and I’m still drowning. Jose, who came to DC alone as a young teen, is the only source of income for his elderly parents. He also has two US citizen children to take care of. I have developed health problems from this as well as mental health issues, and Jose now has high blood pressure. I have never been a person to ask for help but now… I need help.

"The first attorney made a mess of his case. With the help of our community we’ve found a new attorney to take his case, but even at a low-bono rate they are more expensive than we can afford. I’d give everything I have to get Jose back, but it still isn’t enough. My bank account was frozen because of this as well.

"Any help would mean the world to both of us. Jose is the most caring, loving person; I have never had anyone who cares for me the way he does. Jose just wants to get out to be with me, to work and support his family. We just want what everyone wants: to be able to be together and be a family, just be able to create a life together. Is that asking too much?"
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FUNDRAISER INFO: This fundraiser is being run by Sanctuary DMV on behalf of Susan, Jose's partner. Because Susan's bank account has been frozen, funds are being sent to the account of Brandon Wu, a core SDMV organizer, who is then either directly paying for relevant expenses on Susan's behalf, or passing them on to Susan in cash. Sanctuary DMV has been working in solidarity with Jose and Susan ever since Jose was detained in DC last July. Funds are being used to cover Jose's legal fees, commissary fees so he can make phone calls, and some miscellaneous expenses (ensuring Susan is able to pay her phone bill to keep in touch with Jose, their lawyer, SDMV, etc; a small amount for wedding rings for their wedding). 
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Hi everyone, deepest apologies for the lack of update. Many things have happened since you all so generously gave last year, but three things are most significant:

1 - Jose's asylum hearing took place in early December. The DHS attorney threw everything she had at him, spending a lot of time on the details of old charges that didn't even result in convictions. Individual judges have 100% discretion over the outcomes of asylum cases, so all the DHS attorney needed to do was convince the judge that Jose is a bad person - burden of proof seemed to have little importance. The judge did not decide the case on the spot, and instead said she would issue a written ruling.

2 - Jose and Susan got married!!! In the presence of two of our supporters, including the clergy member who officiated the ceremony, they finally tied the knot. Farmville made it as difficult as possible and they were not allowed to touch - the ceremony was performed through a glass barrier with words spoken through phones. But it is official now!

3 - Last Friday we learned that the judge ruled against Jose and ordered his removal. Jose and Susan are now looking at their legal options, beginning with appealing the ruling, for which they have a 30-day window (though he could be deported before then). They are hoping to find a new attorney to represent Jose for this process.

Needless to say this is an incredibly difficult time for both Jose and Susan. We'll keep you updated as things happen - and they may happen quickly. Thank you for your support, it has meant everything to Jose and Susan to know they there is a community out there fighting with them.
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Hi everyone! Just wanted to share a news article that was published today about Jose and Susan: https://thinkprogress.org/ice-accused-of-intentionally-stalling-detained-immigrants-marriage-paperwork-jose-sanchez-dc-cf67016ef0de/

We were having considerable trouble finalizing all the paperwork needed for the two of them to get married. ICE had approved the marriage (they have to do that for anyone in their custody), but Farmville, the detention center where Jose is being held, has been dragging their feet in getting a form notarized that Jose and Susan need.

Today - shortly after the article was published - Susan was faxed a copy of the notarized form. She still needs the original to get their marriage license, so crossing fingers is still appropriate :) But I'm happy to be able to give a positive update before we head into the holiday weekend.

We'll be asking folks to share the fundraiser out again next week - we're over halfway to our goal but still need more. Thanks so much for your support and solidarity!
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Hello,

Thank you so much for donating to support Jose and Susan! We've raised a little over $3,250 in the past few days, which is great progress. Susan has communicated to me multiple times that both she and Jose are really touched by how many people have donated. The day the fundraiser went live, Jose had a panic attack in detention, and while he's doing better now, the strain is really taking a toll on them both. Knowing that there are people out there who know what they're going through, and care about them enough to support them, has really meant a lot to both Jose and Susan.

Jose's immigration court date is set for December 7. We'd like to hit our fundraising goal of $7,500 by then. In the meantime, Jose and Susan are trying to get married - they have permission from ICE, but Farmville Detention Center, where Jose is being held, is slow-walking the paperwork they need. We're working on this from a couple angles. Since Susan is a U.S. citizen, their marriage would have a material impact on Jose's case.

There may soon be other ways to step up and help Jose and Susan, but for now, the best thing you can do if you'd like to support them further is share the link to this fundraiser - on social media, by email, etc. Help us hit that $7,500 goal!

Thanks again for your solidarity.
Brandon/Sanctuary DMV
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$7,163 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 131 people in 4 months
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