Isn’t America Also About Second Chances?

Set my naturalization aside. That’s all fine and good; everything’s on schedule. Some unfortunate circumstances have come up for a fellow member of my ward, though. I believe our efforts can make a difference. Focus. Unite. This is critical.

Today at church we received this announcement on a flyer:

Our fellow ward member, Gustavo Aguilar, was detained by immigration agents on Tuesday despite the best efforts of his lawyer to keep him free. His situation is urgent – he could be deported at any time.

Jen [his wife] and Gustavo are fighting to keep him here by trying to get his pre-baptism drug conviction overturned. You can read details about this fight and and what they have done on their blog at:

At the suggestion of his lawyer, we are trying to get local politicians to call the Queens DA and express interest in Gustavo’s case and in a favorable outcome. While some politicians have said that they would call, none have done so yet, probably because they don’t see it as urgent or as important to very many of their constituents.

We would like to change their minds – to convince them that Gustavo’s case is worth their time and effort. To do so, we need your help.

Could you please place a call to the following politicians in the next few days and ask them to help? Gustavo could be deported almost at any time, it is important that these calls be made as soon as possible. Instructions on what to say follow this list.

City Council: Miguel Martinez
–917-521-1293 . 601 W 174th Street Ste 1A

NY Assembly: Adriano Espaillat
–212-544-2278 . 210 Sherman Ave, Ste A

NY State Sen: Eric T. Schneiderman
–212-928-5578 . 80 Bennett Ave., Ground

US Congress: Charles B. Rangel
–212-663-3900 . 163 W 125th St., Ste 737

Manhattan Borough Pres: Scott Stringer
212-669-8300 . 1 Center St. 19th Floor

1. Review the website above so you understand the situation.

2. Call the offices of at least one (if not all) of the above and ask to speak with a constituent  services representative.

3. Tell them you would like the politician’s support in the case of Gustavo Aguilar. We want the politician to call the Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown or Assistant DA Susan Sullivan and ask them to agree to the motion to vacate Gustavo’s conviction.

4. Mention your relationship to Jen and Gustavo, tell how much he would be mised if deported and how Gustavo is now the kind of citizen we need in the US and New York.

5. If they need further information about the case, refer them to Gustavo’s criminal lawyer, Labe Richman – 212-227-1914.

Gustavo is a very nice, friendly, funny, and kind man. He’s a hard worker. He’s loving and generous, and he takes nothing for granted. There is no one who wouldn’t benefit from having Gustavo as a friend. If it’s the Lord’s will he be deported, I can accept that, and it would be very sad, but I want to be able to say I did everything I could to help him. Would you help him, too?

We can do this.

Read the blog.

Make the calls. Tuesday, since tomorrow’s a holiday.

Pray like crazy.

Spread the word.

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