Fernando Carrillo, a native of Mexico who has been living illegally in the United States for approximately 20 years was arrested by federal immigration agents in October. Supporters in the Jewish community and other faith traditions rallied with Carrillo’s wife and three children outside the offices of the federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) in San Francisco on Thursday, calling on the agency to release Carrillo.
On October 11, 2017, Carrillo was arrested while dropping off his four-year-old daughter at a daycare provider in San Jose, California. ICE agents pulled over Carrillo after he left the daycare in his car. He has been held by ICE at the West County Detention Center in Richmond since then.
Members of San Francisco’s Jewish community sang hymns in Hebrew and held placards declaring "Free Fernando,” “Catholic Charities support refugees,” and “Refugees welcome here.” In a video report by Fox News, Rabbi Sydney Mintz said, "We don't have to look back 3,000 years ago to a time when Moses said let my people go, to know that this is incredibly unfair and unjust." She leads the congregation at Congregation Emmanuel.
Carrillo's wife Lourdes Barraza, who is an American citizen raised in the U.S., said that her husband’s arrest has caused tremendous financial and emotional strain. She claimed that her oldest daughter has left behind studies at a local high school because of her depression and anxiety. The girl is now engaged in a home studies program.
Blaming the Trump administration and its immigration policies, Barraza tearfully said: "Children are suffering, families are suffering, my family is suffering and it's not fair."
Carrillo’s 15- year-old daughter Isabella Astorga admitted: "I feel like my whole life has just you know slowly crumbled apart." The weeping girl said, "I just feel very out of place in life right now."
Various pro-immigrant groups are seeking to get Carrillo released. Rev. Deborah Lee of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity told Fox, "The main issue right now is that we're trying to get him out of detention because when you are in detention it is very difficult... to get the kind of legal advice you need."
According to ICE, Carrillo has been deported to Mexico on three occasions since 2003. The agency also contends that Carrillo has used fraudulent identification, and has been convicted of driving under the influence.
The website for Congregation Emmanuel -- one of the oldest Jewish synagogues in California -- indicates that Rabbi Mintz is a leading LGBTQ advocate. Rabbi Mintz is on the National Board of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, and as a Rabbinic Scholar for American Jewish World Service. She is a graduate of Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program and is a member of the U.S. State Department’s Working Group on Religion and Social Justice.
Spero News columnist Stephanie Block has written extensively on the topic of progressives' use of inter-faith groups, churches and temples to advance political causes. According to a blurb for one of her books,'Organizing the Culture of Death,' Block recounts the influence of Alinskyian community organizers who infiltrate religious organizations. "Among contemporary politicians who were personally familiar with Saul Alinsky - the author of 'Rules for Radicals' and a school for community organizing - are Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama."
"Ironically, for Christians and Jews, Alinsky dedicated his 'Rules for Radicals' to Lucifer, who he described as the first rebel."
On Tuesday, more than a dozen immigrant rights advocates chained themselves together in San Francisco’s Financial District to denounce what they claim are cruel raids by immigration authorities on Central American refugees. The protest brought congested traffic in the district nearly to a halt as police were brought in to direct traffic around the activists. Holding the statewide day of action, which included a similar rally in Los Angeles, were groups such as Immigration Youth Coalition and the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance participated.