#EndDetention Week of Action and Free Marlon Vaz!

#EndDetention Week of Action and Free Marlon Vaz!

In honor of the National Week of Action for the End of Immigration Detention, Families for Freedom is demanding Free Marlon Vaz!  His suffering is one of the countless reasons we are calling for the END of Immigration Detention!


Families for Freedom along with the ‪#‎Not1More‬ campaign, Detention Watch Network, We Belong Together and many organizations are taking part in A National Week of Action to call for the End of Immigration Detention. “‘A system that ‘breeds cruelty and harm’ should be shut down!” Our loved ones have been imprisoned for many years without bond in immigration detention, without knowing if there will be a day when they will be reunited with our families. We call for the freedom of our loved ones languishing in unnecessary detention. Detention is not a solution to anything, it is the problem. The only alternative to detention is freedom.



Three years after a botched surgery in an ICE facility that left half of his face permanently paralyzed, ICE continues to prioritize his detention instead of his release


Marlon, his loved ones, and Families for Freedom demand that ICE release him so that he can get the medical attention he desperately needs. Marlon Francisco Vaz (A#205132331) has been in ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) custody since January 21, 2012. On March 12, 2012, while detained at the now closed North Georgia Detention Center, an immigration facility run by Corrections Corporations of America (CCA), Marlon underwent a tooth extraction surgery that has left half of his face paralyzed.  Marlon has been diagnosed with symptoms of Bell’s Palsy because of the surgery and instead of releasing him to receive adequate medical attention ICE is prioritizing his removal from the U.S..  Less than seven days after the botched surgery, ICE ordered him deported on March 19, 2012, without him seeing an Immigration Judge. ICE began to aggressively pressure the Brazilian Government for travel documents to remove him from the U.S.. Marlon is currently detained at Etowah County Detention Center, a prison in Gadsden, Alabama. We demand the immediate release of Marlon Vaz.


Marlon, who has been living in the U.S. for more than 20 years, joins the growing number of our family members affected by the cruel network of U.S.. prisons that detains immigrants. His entire family who lives in Georgia loves him, and has not stopped fighting for his release. His mother, a U.S.. citizen, says, “He is not supposed to be in there. He works really hard, he is a good son. After his detention, my life was destroyed and he is suffering.” Detention destroys our lives both inside and outside of the cage.


Support Marlon and his family by signing this petition http://bit.ly/1UArngv ,sharing their story on social media and by joining the growing demand to End Immigrant Detention!


Marlon’s Story

Less than two months into his detention, on March 9, 2012, Marlon notified ICE agents of a tooth ache. Three days later, on March 12, 2012, he underwent a tooth extraction surgery at the CCA-run North Georgia Detention Center. Immediately after the surgery Marlon began to experience droopiness in his right eye, and loss of feeling and muscle control over the right side of his face. Raising his eyebrow or closing his eye became an arduous task. At one point Marlon had to tape his right eye shut to go to sleep. He began to submit medical requests to ICE officials asking to see a doctor and be examined. He was seen by a doctor who assessed that because of the surgery Marlon was suffering from symptoms of Bell’s Palsy. Bell’s Palsy is a weakness of the muscles in one side of the face, usually resulting in droopy eyes, mouth, and other parts of the face. Seven days after the surgery, Marlon,was ordered deported on March 19, 2012, without seeing a Judge and ICE  has tried to remove him from the country ever since.


Throughout his years in detention, Marlon has continued to suffer.  He is unable to lift the right side of his mouth and close his right eye, the pain becoming unbearable. Despite the suffering, he has fought to receive adequate medical treatment through sick call requests, inmate medical request forms to ICE officials, letters to the Warden and his Deportation Officer, as he feared both sight loss and permanent nerve damage. Instead of releasing Marlon so that he could receive medical attention, ICE began its own demands for his travel documents at the Brazilian Consulate. On September 19, 2013, the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations and the Brazilian Consulate in Atlanta wrote to ICE that Marlon should be released in order to receive adequate medical attention before even contemplating issuing him travel documents for deportation. The embassy made this decision based on an independent conversation with Lesley Company, the liaison for South American Nations at Department of Homeland Security. Instead of complying with the requirements ordained in Zadvydas v. Davis (2001) to release a person in immigration detention when it is no longer reasonably foreseeable to procure their travel documents, ICE issued a non-compliance warning to Marlon. He was presented with numerous Warnings for Failure to Depart and Notices of Failure to Comply, documents that threatened Marlon with potential criminal prosecution for not assisting in his own deportation. In the meantime, Marlon’s health condition continues to deteriorate and remains unattended, which can lead to permanent trauma.


Instead of releasing Marlon so that he can acquire medical attention, ICE has ignored the severity of the looming permanent damage of his condition and has failed to provide proper medical treatment; all the while being intent on shuffling him from detention center to detention center, threatening him with criminal prosecution, and incessantly pressuring the Brazilian government to issue travel documents. In addition to the denial of medical care, Marlon’s requests for medical release from custody have also been constantly ignored as ICE continues to hold him. Marlon needs to be released in order to be with his family and obtain necessary medical treatment.


Support Marlon and his family by signing this petition http://bit.ly/1UArngv ,sharing their story on social media and by joining the growing demand to End Immigrant Detention!

Join an Action Near You & Tweet to #EndDetention
July 7 – Austin, TX –  7:00 pm – "Chant Down the Walls" Protest & Concert
Hosted by Grassroots Leadership, community members, social justice organizations, and faith organizations will have a protest/concert to show solidarity with people inside of the Travis County Jail.
For more information | Contact: cparker [at] grassrootsleadership.org (subject: ) (cparker [at] grassrootsleadership.org )
July 8 – Chicago, IL – 11:30 am – Rally at ICE to End All Detention
Formerly detained members of Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD) will rally at 101 W. Congress in Chicago, IL.
For more information | Contact: bloewe [at] onpoint.pro
July 9 – Adelanto, CA –  6:30 pm – Adelanto Detention Center Vigil
Join Justice for Immigrants Coalition at the Adelanto Detention Center to stand against the inhumane treatment in the facility and continue opposition to the 600 bed expansion that was implemented on July 1st.
For more information | Contact: Javier [at] justiceforimmigrantscoalition.org (Javier [at] justiceforimmigrantscoalition.org)
July 9 – Atlanta, GA – Evening – Bus Departs for New Orleans Protests
Members of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) will drive through the night to rally with the Congreso de Jornaleros at the DAPA hearing in New Orleans.
For more information | Contact: Anicholls [at] glahr.org
July 10 – New Orleans, LA – 8:30 am Rally & March from DAPA Hearing to ICE
Congreso de Jornaleros will rally at the hearing to lift the injunction on the relief program and march to the local ICE office to protest continued raids.
For more information | Contact: spboykewich [at] gmail.com
July 11 – Washington, DC – 10:00 am – Caravan to Shut Down Berks Concert
DC residents will meet at 1525 Newton St NW, Washington, DC 20010 to drive to the Berks detention center to join a rally and concert there.
For more information | Contact: amartinez [at] detentionwatchnetwork.org (subject: ) (amartinez [at] detentionwatchnetwork.org) 
July 11 – Leesport, PA – 2:00 pm – Shut Down Berks Concert
Juntos and supporters will rally at the family detention center located at 1040 Berks Rd, Leesport, PA for a concert and rally featuring the hip-hop artist Olmeca and others calling for the closing of the center.
For more information | Contact: Erika [at] vamosjuntos.org
July 11 – Tacoma, WA – 12:00 pm – Defend Your Rights Workshop 
Information and stories of those who fought the detention system and won, and those that continue fighting outside of the NW Detention Center.
For more information | Contact: maru [at] latinoadvocacy.org 
* Hosting an Action or Vigil? Add your event online at: bit.ly/WeekOfAction *