(BALTIMORE, MD., 1/14/19) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined calls for the release of a Maryland mother detained during a routine check-in with immigration officials last week.
Roxana Santos is currently being held at a facility on the Eastern Shore. CAIR has joined CASA’s appeal to urge that she be freed immediately and allowed to reunite with her children.
SEE: Arrest of prominent immigrant mom in Maryland spreading fear (WUSA9)
“America was founded by communities fleeing persecution,” said CAIR’s Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry. “Our country is in the midst of a moral crisis. It is not a crime to seek a better life for yourself and your loved ones. Four more children are without their mother, anxiously wondering if they will ever see her again. Families belong together. Our country should not be in the business tearing them apart.”
Santos arrived in the United States after fleeing abuse in El Salvador in 2005. In 2008, she was allegedly racially profiled by Frederick County sheriff’s deputies who took her into custody and turned her over to immigration authorities.
SEE: ICE detains Salvadoran woman who won civil rights suit against Frederick County
Trump asked you to imagine being victimized by an immigrant. We should imagine instead, ‘We’re all Roxana.’
After her arrest, Santos filed a civil rights lawsuit. In September, a federal court in Maryland ruled in her favor and found the county and Sheriff liable for her unconstitutional arrest.
For years, she has been consistently checking in with immigration officials. During a routine check-in at the ICE office in Baltimore last week, she was taken into custody mere days before a court hearing that would have determined damages owed to her.
Attorneys representing her have had a difficult time communicating with government officials due to the shutdown.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, 410-971-6062, firstname.lastname@example.org