Update: Hope Mathe went for her check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while supporters outside chanted “undocumented, unafraid” (video coming soon) and made calls to ICE director John Morton. After less than an hour Hope came out to inform us that she was told to come back 3 months later for another check-in. We’ll be back.
A community rally will take place tomorrow in support of the Mathe family and a call to ICE to reconsider the family’s request for deferred action. The rally will take place outside ICE Midwest Regional Office, as mother, Hope Mathe, attends first immigration check-in after her son’s deportation.
On Tuesday, July 26th, Andy Mathe found himself on a Delta plane facing deportation back to Africa, a place he fled, along with his mom, grandmother and siblings, almost five years ago. Andy Mathe knew deportation meant possible death; his family tried everything in their power to try to remain in the United States.
Andy Mathe’s mother Hope states: “We did everything the right way, we filed for asylum as soon as we entered the airport. In Africa we were being chased by people wanting to harm us, they threatened my family. We just had to flea and now we are being forced to return.” In 2010 Andy’s uncle was killed between the border of Zambia and Congo fleeing the same individuals his step-father was fleeing in Rwanda. In this case there is more than enough credible fear, it is a case that has slipped through the cracks and it seems like many high-level officials in the Obama administration, including President Obama himself, are choosing to deport this family to their possible deaths.
On Monday Emilio Vicente, a youth organizer, hand-delivered a plea for help along with 5,000 petition signatures to President Obama directly. “I handed Obama the plea and told him, ‘if you want to make a difference stop the deportation of the Mathe family to Africa.’ I looked him in the eye and told him that. He knew about this case himself and decided to still deport this family. The fight continues to save the rest of the Mathe family.
On August 2nd the Mathe family will check-in with ICE authorities under their order of supervision. On July 26th the entire family’s plea to remain in the U.S. was rejected along with Andy’s. Whether the family will be detained and deported at the August 2nd visit remains to be seen.
Rally to stop the deportation of the Mathe Family Tuesday August 2nd, 2011, @ 11:00 AM US Customs Immigration Services Building,
101 West Congress Parkway (Corner of S Clark St and W Congress Pkwy)
Hope Mathe will be in attendance at the rally, along with supporting organizations, which include the Immigrant Youth Justice League, United African Organization, Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Immigrant Youth Justice League, PASO/Nuestra Voz, The Council of Islamic Organizations, Korean Resource and Cultural Center, Fighting Youth Shouting Out for Humanity, community leaders, and student organizations.
The Immigrant Youth Justice League is a Chicago-based organization led by undocumented youth working towards full recognition of the rights and contributions of all immigrants through education, leadership development, policy advocacy, resource gathering, and mobilization.
Media Inquiries: Uriel Sanchez, (773)-341-8502; Nathan Ryan, (920)-445-3920