Rally for AJ – No Deportations, No Racial Profiling
ICE Retaliates Against Youth for Filing Lawsuit
Mt Vernon, WA- A minor filed a lawsuit against Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) for racially profiling two years ago. As soon as this youth turned 18 years old, ICE threatens him with possible deportation, as soon as next Tuesday. The then 15 years old, AJ (name listed in lawsuit as a minor) had been racially profiled by the Bellingham Police Department (BPD) in a regular traffic stop in Bellingham, WA. AJ had no driver’s license, and BPD decided to call Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), instead of his parents. In less than 12 hours, AJ was transferred to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, a facility for adults detained while in deportation proceedings. Community organizations were able to have him released the next day, and no immigration process was started against AJ at that moment.
AJ and his legal counsel filed a lawsuit on April 28, 2016 that continues in federal court. Under this new anti-immigrant, racist administration, ICE seemed to have waited for AJ to turn 18. Then within a couple of weeks, ICE sent him a letter which stated he needs to attend a meeting with ICE “to discuss immigration case and update information” on Tuesday August 29th at the Department of Homeland Security, Tukwila, WA.
“The only reason why ICE has AJ’s information is because of the racially profiled traffic stop”, said Larry Hildes legal counsel on the lawsuit against CBP, “and this is nothing but retaliation for AJ to have dared fighting against CBP and Bellingham Police Department”.
Community members will accompany AJ to this meeting and will demand ICE be accountable for this retaliation against a youth, that keeps fighting so racial profiling ends in Bellingham, Washington State, and the entire country.
WHAT: ICE mandatory meeting for possible deportation of youth who filed lawsuit against CBP
WHO: AJ, youth who filed lawsuit against CBP, and community supporters
WHEN: Tuesday August 29th at 8:30AM
WHERE: 12500 Tukwila International Blvd, Tukwila WA 98168
Media Contact: Maru Mora Villalpando, 206-251-6658