Jesús G.

After work and dinner at a friend’s house, Jesús was driving home at 10pm when a police officer directed him to pull over. The road was dark and curvy and unlit and he had some difficulty finding a place to pull over, but he did so as quickly as he could. The officer asked for his ID. Jesús showed him his expired driver’s license. The officer asked Jesús if he had been drinking. Jesús told the officer he had a beer with dinner at his friend’s house. The officer said he was swerving. Jesús started to explain that the road was curvy and dark. The officer responded by yelling at him to get out of his car. When he did, the officer slammed him against the car. Jesús became very afraid.

The officer told him to walk a line. Jesús was so scared at this point that he was shaking and did not walk the line straight. The officer called backup. Two other police cars arrived. Surrounding him, the officers said they were calling ICE. He begged them not to call ICE. He told them he had been living and working here for 20 years. ICE came and he was put into an ICE detention facility. He begged to call his wife so she would know where he was. They allowed a 2-minute call. Two days later Jesús was transferred to the Eloy detention center.

His wife and his two, U.S. citizen children couldn’t afford the $10,000 bond and they could not afford to hire an attorney. He remained incarcerated and treated aggressively. One time he was so forcefully shoved into his cell that his head was smashed against a wall causing swelling. Jesús was terrified. Members of a church he regularly attended began to collect money and friends and neighbors held hot dog sales for weeks on end to raise enough money for his bond. Then, with the help of an attorney who volunteered assistance at a community, free legal clinic, they were able to get the bond reduced to $5,000. After 3 months of incarceration, Jesús was able to post bond. He and his family now live with constant anxiety and fear as his case sits pending in immigration court.