Justice for Omar Aguilar

November 16, 2011

SAN DIEGO--Twenty protesters from the immigrants rights and Occupy movements demonstrated outside the Federal Building and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters on November 14. They demanded that Omar Aguilar's deportation, scheduled for December 8, be halted by ICE action or by a private congressional bill.

"Obama said he would concentrate on deporting criminals," Enrique Morones of Border Angels told the crowd. "Omar is not a criminal."

Aguilar, who has lived and worked in the U.S. for five years and has family here, recently had his application for political asylum rejected--despite the fact that three family members in his native Honduras were killed.

Aguilar says his family was targeted by an organized crime family because its store competed with one run by the crime family. A member of the organized crime group is now a local chief of police.

Inadequate legal representation may have been a factor in the judge's denial of political asylum. Despite being charged $5,000, Omar questions whether his lawyer's Spanish was good enough to fully understand his case.

Omar's supporters in the Committee to Defend the Immigrants of City Heights, who organized the rally, are gathering petition signatures demanding a halt to the deportation, reaching out to neighborhood and activist groups, and pushing local congressional representatives to step in to provide relief for Omar.

Organizers were pleased by rally coverage from local TV and print media in both English and Spanish.

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