Monday, September 20, 2021

Some 200 people protest in Boston calling for release of immigrants

A protester holds a sign demanding the release of two activists, Zully Palacios and Enrique Balcazar, who are community organizers with Migrant Justice, and detained migrant worker Alex Carrillo, outside the John F Kennedy Federal Building in Boston, Massachusetts, USA 27 March 2017. The migrant activists were taken into custody by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in Vermont on 17 March 2017, along with migrant worker Alex Carrillo in what the protesters are calling a ‘targeted’ arrest. EPA/CJ GUNTHER

Washington, Mar 27 (EFE).- Some 200 people took to the streets of Boston Monday calling for the release of three undocumented migrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Shouting “Zully, Enrique, Alex, listen, we’re fighting” and “Up with release, down with deportation,” the demonstrators demanded the release of undocumented activists Zully Palacios, 23, and Enrique Balcazar, 24, whose detentions they consider unjust, along with undocumented worker Alex Carrillo, 23.

Palacios and Balcazar, who are known activists in Vermont, and Carrillo, who worked in that state’s dairy industry, on Monday received the support of the protesters gathered before the doors of the John F. Kennedy federal building.

“My life and that of my daughter have been very hard since they arrested Alex … We miss him so much every day he’s not with us,” said Carrillo’s wife Lymarie Deida, who was on hand with her 4-year-old daughter.

In a statement sent to EFE, ICE spokesman in New England Shawn Neudauer said that federal agents are not making selective arrests and that the detentions are not targeting individuals based on their political leanings or activism.

A protester holds a sign demanding the release of two activists, Zully Palacios and Enrique Balcazar, who are community organizers with Migrant Justice, and detained migrant worker Alex Carrillo, outside the John F Kennedy Federal Building in Boston, Massachusetts, USA 27 March 2017. The migrant activists were taken into custody by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in Vermont on 17 March 2017, along with migrant worker Alex Carrillo in what the protesters are calling a ‘targeted’ arrest. EPA/CJ GUNTHER

ICE targets foreigners with criminal records and people who overstay their visas by a significant amount of time, Neudauer said.

If ICE agents, during the course of their legal duties, find other people who also have immigration problems independent of their criminal record, they can also be detained, he added.

Some 10,000 people signed a petition calling for the release of Palacios and Balcazar after their March 17 detentions in Burlington, Vermont, two days after Carrillo was taken into custody.

Palacios and Balcazar are community organizers who defend immigrants’ rights and do not have criminal records.
Palacios had overstayed his visa by eight months and was detained and held without bail.

Balcazar, meanwhile, had bail set at $14,000 and is in the US without authorization, while Carrillo had been acquitted of drunk driving.