Faith group: Protester wins release from ICE

Arrested in downtown fracas; must pay $7,000 in court costs

By Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne)
July 7, 2020

Read the story at the source.

Jorge Oliva, an undocumented immigrant who was arrested last month and scheduled for deportation, could be home in Fort Wayne with his family as soon as today.

His 14-year-old brother, Hector, described it as “the best news we’ve heard this year.”

A judge on Monday granted Jorge Oliva a stay of removal and said the local man could be released after paying court costs of at least $7,000, according to Audrey Davis, lead organizer for Faith In Indiana’s Allen County chapter. Oliva will have to appear again in court, she said, adding that she’s not sure of the location.

Davis was busy Monday with phone calls, talking to Oliva’s lawyer, family and supporters. She was among about 25 people who gathered Thursday outside the Allen County Courthouse to operate a phone bank, calling Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Chicago headquarters. They left messages urging the federal agency to release Oliva, also known as George.

Hector Oliva said a family friend will drive today to ICE’s office in Chicago and pay $10,000 before driving to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Wisconsin to get Jorge.

Oliva was arrested June 15 by Fort Wayne police on charges of rioting, disorderly conduct, resisting law enforcement and obstructing traffic. Court documents claim Oliva was part of a crowd June 14 in downtown Fort Wayne when he allegedly moved a fence blocking Clinton Street, blocking traffic.

Charging documents claim Oliva threatened to “unload on some people,” but do not provide more specific information. Police also claimed that an unnamed officer thought Oliva might have a rifle in his pants.

Investigators said Oliva had a metal bat and “violently pulled away” from officers who were trying to arrest him. Misdemeanor charges against Oliva were later dismissed.

Oliva moved to Fort Wayne from Guanajuato, Mexico, with his parents and a sibling at age 6.

He is a graduate of Snider High School and has two daughters. Davis said he’s been working in construction.

Her organization, Faith in Indiana, stands with families facing deportation, helping them navigate ICE hearings. About 500 people in 12 local congregations are members, Davis said. They represent multiple religions and races.

All major religions call on members to help the poor, sick and strangers, she said.

Hector Oliva said his brother appreciates the efforts of Faith in Indiana to get his story out to the public. A GoFundMe effort had raised more than $2,600 for the family as of Monday evening.

Davis said Hector Oliva has been the primary source of information about the family because, unlike his parents, he grew up speaking English.

“He’s been an amazing leader throughout this process. He’s been holding down the fort, helping his family stay strong,” Davis said.

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