Jewish Community Concerned Over Deportations

Federal authorities on Tuesday denied his request to stay in the U.S. Baltimore’s Jewish community is rallying to support his family and others like them. For some in Baltimore’s Jewish community the immigration issue is very personal and the case of Jesus Peraza has them taking action. Dozens of people at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation are learning how to help those taken into custody by immigration agents. By going through a program called bystander training. “I’m a Holocaust survivor, and an immigrant, and it means a lot to me to see these people get justice,” resident Martha Weiman said. “Right now, people being deported on very flimsy grounds.” The congregation is also supporting the family of Peraza. After living in the U.S. for 10 years, with no record of crimes against people or property, he was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement when he was dropped his son off at school in Patterson Park. A local immigration and customs official denied Peraza’s request to stay in the U.S., ruling there was no compelling reason to grant the request. He’s now subject to immediate deportation.

“He’s from Honduras, but he is from the most dangerous city in the world,” attorney Jared Jaskot said of Peraza. His wife is from Guatemala, so this idea that people can just go back home is totally a farce. “So I think he is going to move to Guatemala and take his whole family with him. We are going to lose a whole family in Baltimore.” Liz Alex from CASA de Maryland was among those arrested last week at the White House while protesting the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies. Alex said the Peraza case is spurring more groups like Baltimore Hebrew Congregation to join their fight. “This congregation actually adopted this family, and they’ve been collecting baby stuff for Jesus’s wife, who is due next week. This group is coming together to say this is not our America. This is not we stand for.” CASA de Maryland said they have been called to help more than 50 undocumented people who have been picked up by ICE in Maryland since February.

by Adam May