Group fighting to prevent man’s deportation celebrates first victory

By Corinne Rose | WPTA 21 (ABC, Fort Wayne)
July 7, 2020

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) — A group trying to prevent a Fort Wayne man from being deported to Mexico is celebrating a first-step victory.

“We are just celebrating a victory in that he has been released from his hold of deportation,” says Rev. Karen Staton.

Rev. Staton and others with the group Faith in Allen County have been fighting to keep 26-year-old Jorge Oliva in the United States.

Fort Wayne police arrested Oliva during Black Lives Matter protests last month, but after he bonded out, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement took him into federal custody.

His family and friends have been protesting his detention and lobbying for his release.

ICE says Oliva’s arrest violated the terms of his 2017 federal release agreement for a criminal history that the agency said “includes multiple convictions for battery and other misdemeanor convictions.”

Faith in Allen County leaders say everyone deserves another chance.

“The person who’s without sin should cast the first stone. And so I’d just remind us that we all make mistakes, and the important thing is to have people come alongside to help us do better the next time,” Faith in Allen County’s Cookye Rutledge says.

After a court hearing in Chicago monday, Oliva’s family scraped together $7,000 to get him released until his next court date.

Oliva considers Fort Wayne his home, after his mother brought him here when he was six.

Rev. Staton says Oliva should be able to pursue the American dream.

“All will be able to have a life that this country was made for us to live,” she says.

“What we want to say again to others is come on, let’s help each other, let’s forgive each other, and let’s extend to everyone grace because we’re all going to need it,” Rutledge adds.

Oliva appears to have another hearing in Chicago later this month.

Faith in Allen County plans to hold a news conference Thursday morning with Oliva’s immigration attorney.


Corinne Rose
Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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