I have “good news” to share with you. The Government has agreed not to deport me for the next three years, as part of a settlement agreement in my First Amendment lawsuit. That gives us three more years to pursue other forms of relief that I need to be able to remain in the US permanently. You can read more in The Intercept here. We have a lot of work to do, but I know that in community we can get there.
Over the years, Amy and I have experienced so many excruciating moments in our interactions with ICE that we thought we were numb. In fact, when I was released from detention in 2018 I was back to work the next day. So when a friend recently asked Amy how we were going to commemorate that Jan 11, 2022 was four years since ICE tried to deport me in 2018, Amy, my defense committee and I were taken aback. Jan 11 2018 and the days that followed were intense and very traumatic for all of us. I thought that I was unfazed because I had lived through so many such days with ICE. I was even making bad jokes with ICE officers who were there to make sure that I was deported.
But when Amy was describing what happened on that day I watched myself break down. My eyes teared up, my pain exuded from my pores and entered my nose, suffocating me. I could not stop trembling. I am not the only one who suffers from this type of PTSD. This happens to every Friend/person, their loved ones and their communities who have to live with the threat of deportation.
Now we are deeply relieved to have this breathing time, and to know that 2022 is the first year that I will not have to report to ICE at all. I will have to report in 2023 and 2024, and will of course seek your support when that happens.
I know that this ‘victory’ is due to all of the love and support that you, my community, have provided. I look forward to being able to be together sometime soon.
With gratitude and love,