UPDATE: PEDRO WAS RELEASED ON MAY 17, 2011! 🙂
You know, until there’s comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S., then we have to battle the injustices one at a time. Sad, but true.
Pedro’s been in detention for the past 11 months-almost one year. He’s presently in the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA. Emily lives with their son Logan in North Carolina. Pedro, quite simply, is losing hope.
I’d like to include a paragraph from Emily’s letter of support:
Dear Honorable Immigration Judge,
My name is Emily Nelson Guzman. I write this letter in support of my husband, Pedro Perez Guzman (Pedro), as he seeks to be released from the custody of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—whether that be on his own recognizance or upon payment of bond.
I met Pedro in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the year 2000. We were young and neither of us had cars and we were both waiting for the bus. He asked me what time it was, even though he had a watch. Soon, after running in to each other consistently in the neighborhood, he asked me out for Valentine’s Day and that was our first date. It was very romantic and we fell in love quickly. Pedro had left California to turn over a new leaf and clean up his life. He was tired of being in the “wrong crowd” and needed to put some space between himself and the bad influences in his life. I was in college studying child psychology at the University of Minnesota. We both wanted to improve our lives for the better and, as we began dating, we taught each other wonderful and important things. He shared with me his spontaneity, industriousness, cleanliness, equality in a relationship, the importance of family, and passion for justice. I shared with him academic vocabulary, vulnerability, compassion, making a home, communication of feelings, the importance of education, and unconditional love. We have grown and shared so much over the almost ten years we have been together. He supported me through undergraduate school, and then through my Master’s program. At first, Pedro was skeptical of the world of psychological therapy, but he grew to appreciate it and ended up advising other friends and family to seek help. I supported him through truck driving school. We both wanted a better life than what we had before we met each other, and together we have made a wonderful life and family. He changed my life and I changed his.
You can read the rest of her letter here.
Pedro’s story is complicated. My husband has a complicated story. Many deportees or immigrants under the threat of deportation have complicated stories. There are deep reasons for that, and many of them are connected to issues around race and class.
I ask that you take the time today to work through the details and send a letter to Secretary Jane Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security.
And hold your loved ones closer tonight, if you can.