When Manuel was 17 he was at a party with his younger brother when everything went wrong; his brother was shot and left for dead. Manuel rushed his brother to the hospital but it was too late, he was dead. Now 23, Manuel remembers this as a life-changing event in his life; he went from being an overall good kid who stayed out of trouble to someone who started mixing with the wrong crowd.
The grief finally caught up to Manuel; in 2008 he was convicted of receiving stolen property in the 1st degree and burglary in the 3rd degree. He was given a 10-year prison sentence and thought his life would be over until the judge did something remarkable. Recognizing the pain Manuel had dealt with since an early age and considering the fact that Manuel had never been in trouble before, the judge suspended his entire jail sentence and instead gave him just probation.
Finally things started falling in place for Manuel. He got married and would soon have a child of his own. He was also registering for GED classes and told his wife that he wanted to ‘make everyone proud.’ During one of his probation visits Immigration had other ideas. Manuel was detained in May of 2010 and his life has been on hold for 29 months now while he fights his case from detention.
DREAM Supporter Manuel suffered a traumatic experience at a young age and deserves a second chance to build a new life for himself, his wife, and loved ones.
Sample Script: “Hi, I am calling to ask that ICE grant discretion for Manuel Mendoza (A# 072-452-041) from Jena Detention Center in Louisiana. Manuel deserves a second chance; ever since his brother was killed he has been trying to get his life on the right track. Grant discretion for Manuel and reunite him with his family.”
Optional Talking Points:
- Manuel has lived in the United States since he was 3-years old.
- No one should be detained for 29 months.
- The Judge recognized Manuel deserved a second chance by suspending is jail sentence.
- Manuel is married and qualifies for a greencard; let him stay!
Manuel has court this coming week so any pressure you can help us place now will be really good. America is the land of second opportunities and Manuel is hoping you can help him get his.