I attended a vigil for Jean Montrevil (#FreeJeanNow) in front of the Immigration Court Building at 201 Varick Street yesterday morning.
On Tuesday, January 2nd, ICE officers waited outside of Jean’s house in Long Island and arrested him on his way to work. He repeatedly told them he had been checking in regularly for 10 years and had his next scheduled check in two weeks. They said there was nothing recorded in the system. Yesterday he was transferred to Miami for a final deportation hearing.
Jean is 50. He has four children— ages 27, 19, 14, and 10. He runs his own car service business. He is putting his 19 year old daughter through college. Jean is a member of my church, Judson Memorial. He is a lovely, gentle, inspiring and responsible leader of many communities. His story could be representative of the American dream. Instead, it is representative of the America we live in today.
What if stories about Jean and the thousands of other loving, courageous, law-abiding immigrants whose lives are being destroyed got more air time than Bannon, Kuschner, McConnell and He Who Shall Not Be Named?
There has been some great reporting chronicling how families are being irreparably destroyed. But I’m sure the percentage of total coverage tilts overwhelmingly toward the swirling sound and fury that is now our daily bread. Jean's story, his children's story--and so many other stories--need amplification.
If everyone had to feel this irreparable trauma—if it touched their daily lives-- would we be able to soften hearts and melt some of the coldest effects of ICE?
I don’t know. But today my heart is with Jean and his family as I bear witness to the cruelty they are enduring.