It took an earthquake, but Jean Montrevil, whose arrest and deportation order has garnered nationwide protest was released last Saturday. He returned to his wife and four U.S. citizen children at home in Brooklyn. Montrevil had been detained by ICE since December 30th 2009, sparking a wave of protests that included clergy, community members and thousands of people who made calls and wrote letters on his behalf. His story is exposing the inadequacy of current immigration laws. It has been featured in the NY Times, The Village Voice and El Diario. On RaceWire, Nezua writes:
Montrevil is a working father of four, married to an American woman, a "longtime community leader," is very involved with local immigrants rights groups and checks in with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regularly and voluntarily. … ICE is removing a tax-paying and productive member of society for a 20 year-old drug conviction for which Montrevil did his time—11 years in prison.
Montrevil was scheduled to be deported to Haiti, but the community support kept him in the country. U.S. immigration laws are so broken, even the new “Temporary Protected Status” for Haitians does not apply to him. Although Montrevil is currently free from detention, he still does not have permanent status. For a more in depth view of how unjust immigration policies are tearing families apart, check out "Torn Apart," a ColorLines Magazine investigation that looks at the effects of deportation on families of color.