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Uriel Alberto’s ‘Stay of Removal’ approved, deportation postponed

By B.J. Murphy

Uriel Alberto

Charlotte, NC – On July 17, the day of Uriel Alberto’s scheduled meeting with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and likely deportation, Alberto received a phone call and was told his order of ‘Stay of Removal’ had been approved.

What started off as a simple demonstration against reactionary anti-immigration policies, turned into a year-long struggle against Uriel Alberto’s ICE-enforced deportation process. In Raleigh, on Feb. 29, 2012, immigrant rights group El Cambio crashed a House Committee meeting on immigration issues, resulting in Alberto standing up and ripping off his outer shirt, revealing an undershirt reading, “Undocumented and Unafraid!”

Alberto was detained for his actions, sparking a ten-day hunger strike against his imprisonment. He was eventually released, but from then on ICE has been scheduling a year-long process in deporting him back to Mexico because of his unwillingness to do so voluntarily.

On July 4, what many in the United States mark as their Independence Day, Alberto launched a hunger strike against his scheduled deportation in front of the ICE office here in Charlotte. A petition was subsequently launched, calling for the U.S. House of Representatives to call off their hunt, reaching over 400 signers.

As was suggested by friends and family, Alberto began calling for an order of ‘Stay of Removal’ as July 17 kept getting closer and closer. Since then, it’s now been approved. A ‘Stay of Removal’ isn’t a permanent solution, but it would allow Alberto to remain in the country until the immigration court is able to sort out any legal issues and then bring back up his deportation case. For now, his deportation has been postponed.

When asked of the campaign’s temporary success, Alberto said, “Well I feel blessed with all the support from loved ones and strangers alike. Though I also feel some remorse because I feel there are others a lot more deserving perhaps, that have not been as lucky as I am. I’m glad to be able to stay in the country, but this “Stay of Removal” does not allow or give me any rights. This is part of the new immigrant working class that the Federal Government is creating, but it is a small victory in a long battle, and I’m ready to put it behind me and keep moving forward. Hopefully we will be able to apply for DACA now, because previously the government had advised us to not apply.”

Given the nationwide struggle for immigrant rights, and the subsequent call for ‘Legalization for All’, Alberto wished to speak to all those who are fighting the same struggle. “My one piece of advice to everyone,” he says, “is to fight until the end. To not give up, to not self-deport, but to fight your cases until the end!”

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