By Corinne Rose | WPTA 21 (ABC, Fort Wayne)
June 29, 2020
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) — Family and friends of a Fort Wayne man want him to be released from federal custody after he was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
He was arrested after Black Lives Matter protests, and could shipped out of the United States and away from the only home he’s ever really known.
A small crowd met at the Allen County courthouse to protest the deportation proceedings against 26-year-old Jorge Oliva.
When he was six, Oliva’s family brought him to Fort Wayne from Mexico to build a better life.
Earlier this month, Fort Wayne police arrested him for disorderly conduct, obstructing traffic, and resisting law enforcement during Black Lives Matter protests.
After he bonded out, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, took him into federal custody.
“The individual was arrested, they knew he was arrested because they get that emailed list of everybody who’s been arrested, and then they placed a hold on him. Once he was done with his local charges, they came and picked him up,” says Capt. Steve Stone from the Allen County Sheriff’s Department.
That’s why Oliva’s family, friends and members of the group Faith in Indiana are upset.
They say Sheriff Gladieux promised when he ran for re-election that he would end the policy of forwarding inmate information to ICE.
“The only reason why the feds got involved in a low-level crime like obstruction of traffic is because of the sheriff’s open door policy with ICE, with the federal agency, which the entire southern half of our state has actually already discontinued,” Faith in Indiana’s Audrey Davis says.
A statement from ICE says Oliva had been in front of a federal judge in 2017 after being arrested on various charges, but was allowed to remain while wearing an ankle bracelet.
The statement says Oliva’s most recent arrest violated the terms of his 2017 release agreement, and cites a criminal history that “includes multiple convictions for battery and other misdemeanor convictions.”
“We’re going to keep fighting for my brother. I need him. I want to tell him that I love him for the first time. I miss him. We’re going to keep fighting for him and do everything that we can just so he comes back for his kids,” brother Hector Oliva says.
The group wants people to call the ICE field director in Chicago to urge him to release Oliva to his family.
“We want 500 people to contact him today, and 500 calls is the most we can get in one day. And it’s what we want so they know that we’re serious about George being free,” supporter Dora Cantu says.
Oliva is being held in a federal detention facility in Wisconsin until he has a hearing in Chicago July 6 about possible deportation.
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Caption: Earlier this month, Fort Wayne police arrested Jorge Oliva for disorderly conduct, obstructing traffic, and resisting law enforcement during Black Lives Matter protests. After he bonded out, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, took him into federal custody.