Protesters call for release of Bronx man in ICE custody since 2019 allegedly for jaywalking
Protesters took to the streets near St. Mary's Park on Sunday to rally for the release of Javier Castillo Maradiaga, of the Bronx.
Community members say they are still fighting to free Maradiaga, who was taken into custody by ICE, allegedly for jaywalking in December 2019.
"Jaywalking on a street in the Bronx, a few blocks from where we are, they took and ripped up Javier Castillo Maradiaga out of our neighborhood," says Jorge Muñiz-Reyes, the organizer of Sunday's rally.
Dariela Moncada Maradiaga, Castillo Maradiaga's sister, says, "We are fighting so our communities can be safe without the terror of waking up one day with ICE knocking on your door without a warrant."
Maradiaga was born in Honduras but came to the U.S. at 7 years old. He was previously protected under the Dream Act, but his family says he didn't renew his DACA status in 2019 out of fear of sharing personal information.
Maradiaga was going to be sent back to Honduras in January, but the deportation was delayed.
"We are still fighting for his release," says Terry Lawson, the family's lawyer. "We have successfully got him back to New York. He's in New Jersey being held in a Hudson County correctional center."
Although President Joe Biden's 100-day plan includes a path to legal citizenship, activists at Sunday's rally say his administration isn't doing enough to help immigrants like Maradiaga.
"We've still got an enemy in Democrats that are still caging out people," says Muñiz-Reyes. "So, we know better than to count on any Democrat to save us or rescue us. We're going to be doing that ourselves."
Maradiaga's legal team say that there was an order to allow him to stay in the U.S. for 30 days, but it expired last week. They are still waiting to find out what the courts will decide on his case.