San Francisco — This morning, before a courtroom packed with supporters, an immigration judge ordered the release of Hugo Mejía, a beloved Bay Area construction worker detained by ICE six months ago when he showed up to work on a construction project at Travis Air Force base.
Supporters are currently working to post Hugo’s bond and he may be released as soon as today. He will continue to fight his deportation case with the support of his legal team and community.
In response to this news the following organizations — California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, Centro Legal de la Raza, The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), IUPAT District Council 16, California Immigrant Policy Center, SF Labor Council and Labor Center for Immigrant Justice/WE RISE SF — released the statement below:
“This Victory is due to the courage of Hugo and his family and the solidarity of supporters from coast to coast. We are overjoyed that Hugo, his wife and their children will be reunited in time for Thanksgiving.
We thank every person and every group who raised their voice for justice. Hugo is a beloved part of his family, his community, and his union, and his story reminds us that we are all in this together. The fight to free Hugo is part of a larger fight to build a better world for all.”
Hugo lives in San Rafael with his wife, Yadira, and his three young children. His elder two children have been granted DACA, and his youngest is a U.S. citizen. He volunteers at his children’s school, Venetia Valley, which is connected to a local synagogue, Congregation of Rodef Sholom.
Hugo’s detention caused widespread outcry among labor, faith, and community groups, with extensive organizing in his San Rafael community and protests held from Elk Grove to New York City. Members of Congress and state and local officials have urged ICE to free Hugo, and in an op-ed which ran in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Archbishop wrote that Hugo’s deportation case raised the question: what kind of society are we?