Mikola Is Free! Your Calls, Petitions Worked!


Mikola and Tatiana Outside of Chicago ICE Field Office
Mikola and Tatiana reunited Outside of the Chicago ICE Office

Mikola was released early Thursday morning and was reunited with his wife, Tatiana (pictured above) and son Yuriy thanks to the combined efforts of organizers of the Immigrant Youth Justice League, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, lawyers with the National Immigrant Justice Center, DreamActivist, residents from the Tytla’s hometown of Skokie, Skokie district officials, and community members organizing, signing the petition, and making phone calls to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Organizers also reached out to Representative Schakowsky (D-IL) who made a personal phone call to ICE in support of the Tytla family.

After Mikola’s stay of removal request was denied on Monday, in under two days over 1500 people signed an online and paper petitions, made phone calls, organized, and came together for a Free Mikola press conference and rally.

Shortly after the rally, Rep. Schakowsky’s office informed us the entire family was granted one year stay!!

If this quick response organizing has proved anything it is that the power of the community and different groups coming quickly together to keep a family together.

Our organizing is real, it works, and it’s stronger than Obama’s Administration failure to implement the Morton Memo and ICE’s determination to deport and separate families.

Read Tatiana letter to IYJL & ICIRR:

May 9th is the holiday in my home country ,the day when people celebrate the victory over the Nazi Germany and the end of the World War II .This day has also become the day of victory and triumph for my family, victory over fear. This fear had loomed over the minds and souls of people whose fate is similar to the fate of my family. Due to circumstances, we found ourselves faced with the reality that we could not obtain any documents that allowed us live and work in this country. We were faced with the fact that at any given moment we could be deported. April 20th became the day when all the members of my family found themselves paralyzed with fear. Not only the dream of our future in America had collapsed but so did the present: My husband was imprisoned. I, just like him was to be deported to Argentina, and our 17-year-old son was to be deported to Ukraine because of this Ukrainian documents.

Fear not only clouded our minds and made everything seem to be shattered but it also made any ideas for the future a distant and almost impossible dream. One person cannot pass such a test alone.

Where can one find support in the similar situation? This burning question from the depths of my soul had an answer – to look somewhere where people understand your fear, understand your pain, people who suffered a similar fate or have witnessed a loved one’ s ordeal.

When the doors of ICIRR were opened in front of me I have felt what a person who could not catch his breath for a long time, feels with the aid of oxygen. I could suddenly speak freely, I could see clear with my tired and teary eyes. I have felt understood. I knew that very moment that i am not alone, that I can raise once again with my head held high and continue to fight for what I believe, fight for my family.

In a number of days, the Immigrant Youth Justice League had reached hundreds of supporters through the aid of Internet who had then in turn multiplied into thousands, whose voices could no longer be ignored. Their voices spoke on behalf of my family, on behalf of all undocumented immigrants, whose fates are decided every day, even this very minute.

As a result of all the precise and organized activities set forth by the IYJL and ICIRR, our deportation has been put on hold and the stay of the deportation has been awarded to all members of my immediate family.

I share this victory not only with them but will all who could not remain indifferent, who stood by us hand in hand through this entire ordeal. With everyone who spent countless hours finding the solution to free my husband and allow us to stay in this country. A day ago all i could see is despair and hopes shattered, today I see the possibility for the future, I see the beginning of a new life shared with all those whom i am proud to call my friends.

Thank you to everyone who took action!

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