Yudith's husband was detained when a group ICE agents raided their home pretending to be doctors. Now, a non-profit is fighting to bring him back.
As the Coronavirus outbreak continues across the United States, citizens are scared and confused. If they are not paralyzed by the fear of contracting the deadly disease, several people are similarly worried about losing their jobs or not being able to stock up on household essentials due to shutdowns. Needless to say, the American public has its hands full. During this challenging time, it appears that ICE has used the epidemic to its sick advantage. In light of the COVID-19 panic, a group of ICE agents pretended to be doctors and gained entry into a household. After raiding the house, they picked up Yudith's husband - a father of six - and detained him. Sanctuary DMV, a volunteer group that supports immigrants by providing legal help, has since initiated a GoFundMe fundraiser to support the family.
‼️Credible sources report @ICEgov conducted large scale raids in #Virginia earlier this week. The country is reeling from a pandemic and ICE is using the time to terrorize immigrants 🤬🤬 Stay vigilant y'all. CALL our hotline if you see or hear of ANY #DC-metro area ICE activity pic.twitter.com/myhg8KZ2yB— Sanctuary DMV (@SanctuaryDMV) March 12, 2020
The incident came to light when the non-profit group took to Twitter in order to share Yudith's story. They posted last week, "Yudith's husband was detained in a particularly heinous raid by ICE agents: they pretended to be doctors to get into their home... Yudith is under intense pressure right now. She's supporting a family of six children, one of whom has special needs, and paying legal fees to get her husband out of detention." Without her husband, the wife is at a loss of how to support her family. Therefore, Sanctuary DMV set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe with a goal of $7,500.
DC must step up to defend all of its residents facing detention and deportation.— Sanctuary DMV (@SanctuaryDMV) March 10, 2020
We call on @MayorBowser to provide $5 million for immigration legal aid, including multiyear grants and more funds to represent DC residents detained by ICE.#DCValues means no one left behind! ✊ pic.twitter.com/HD1moHdJdj
Explaining more about Yudith and her family's situation, they wrote, "Yudith is a wife and mother of six children whose husband has been detained by ICE. Yudith’s family has been the target of draconian tactics by ICE; agents pretended to be doctors in order to raid their home and detain her husband under these deceptive circumstances. He has lived in this area for over 20 years." The organization clarified that they are working with Yudith to raise funds to pay immediate expenses, such as rent, utilities, and legal fees, and help bring her husband home. In just a few days, thousands of people came to the wife's support. The non-profit has raised a whopping $12,157 thus far, almost twice initial goal.
🚨NEXT #Maryland #DignityNotDetention Act action alert: Take 2 minutes TODAY to email 6 key senators🚨— Sanctuary DMV (@SanctuaryDMV) March 5, 2020
Your calls worked--Senate Committee is voting on the FULL bill *tomorrow*
SEE updated script & contact info: https://t.co/lY2Ku9Hm9V
Keep up the pressure & please RT!! #MD pic.twitter.com/S3vkRebKpP
During this public health crisis, it is sick that ICE would resort to such deceptive tactics. Families should be focusing on ensuring they are healthy and safe from the deadly virus, and no one should be forced into detainment, where they are likely to spread the disease. Sanctuary DMV affirmed, "Yudith’s situation is devastating. It is yet another example of how the destructive nature of ICE and US immigration policy can throw entire [families'] lives into the fray." At present, while it is unclear if the ICE agents involved will be held accountable for impersonation (as impersonating medical professionals is a crime), the non-profit is working on getting Yudith's husband out on bond. They shared in a tweet, "[The] next step is to try to get Yudith's husband out on bond. Your donations will help greatly [with her] case [and] shelter. As she's in a very vulnerable position, she's not speaking [with] press [right now]." To stay updated on Yudith's case, you can follow Sanctuary DMV on Twitter.