Victor Alvarez, whose father was held by a CSULB police officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport, meets with Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D–Long Beach, after the community roundtable and forum on immigration hosted by the congressman in the Walter Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach April 25.

Karen Sawyer | Daily 49er

Congressman condemns deportation

Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, blamed split families on Congress’ failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

April 25, 2016

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Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D–Long Beach, said the recent incident where José Alvarez was deported after being detained in the Cal State Long Beach University Police substation should have never happened in a roundtable and forum on immigration the congressman hosted Monday.

“I’m in a climate in the Congress where a lot of people want to duck this issue,” Lowenthal said. “We know that a lot of people are being deported who should never be deported.”

Andrea Donado, community organizer with the Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization pleads with city and university officials at a community roundtable and forum on immigration hosted by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D–Long Beach, to join her in her effort to bring José Alvarez back to the U.S. Alvarez was deported after a CSULB police officer detained him for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to pick up.

Karen Sawyer | Daily 49er
Andrea Donado, community organizer with the Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization pleads with city and university officials at a community roundtable and forum on immigration hosted by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D–Long Beach, to join her in her effort to bring José Alvarez back to the U.S. Alvarez was deported after a CSULB police officer detained him for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to pick up.

The roundtable speakers, who met inside the Walter Pyramid, included Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, CSULB President Jane Close Conoley, Associated Students, Inc. President José Salazar and student representatives of various cultural organizations on campus, among others.

“If you had held this three months ago, I would have just been beaming about all the wonderful things that we do and all the great successes that we have,” Conoley said. “But it’s not three months ago. It’s today.”

She said the university is currently seeking outside consultation and going through a process of self-reflection to be sure the “policies really do match our aspirations,” and identified the need for simplified comprehensive immigration reform.

“Because [immigration law] is amazingly complex and interpreted in so many different ways depending on where you live, it puts all of us in some danger of not behaving in ways that match our dreams,” Conoley said.

CSULB’s Officer I. Sanchez detained Alvarez for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to come and pick him up after Sanchez pulled Alvarez over for a broken headlight Feb. 21.

Andrea Donado, a community organizer with the Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization, called for all those in attendance to do whatever they could to support the attempt to bring Alvarez back and reunite him with his family, as well to support legislation that would prevent this from happening again at any other university.

After the roundtable, the congressman met with Victor, Alvarez’ son, and Alexis Teodoro, the Southwest regional organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, who said his organization may provide Alvarez with legal representation.

“Your dad is just another example of someone [who] was caught up in a totally broken system that really now discriminates against people who’ve been here for many years, who are trying to do better, trying to give back to the country and yet are caught in this cycle,” Lowenthal said to Victor.

In the meeting, Lowenthal said he would contribute to bringing Alvarez back by helping draft a letter to the University Police demanding to know under what authority CSULB Officer Sanchez had acted on behalf of ICE to arrest Alvarez and hold him for ICE to come and deport.

Lowenthal also said he would help to be an advocate to Conoley on behalf of the Alvarez family.

He stressed the importance of ensuring that CSULB is able to lead the way in making sure that all colleges in California become sanctuary campuses, where they would refuse to cooperate with ICE to deport students.

President Jane Close Conoley speaks at a community roundtable and forum on immigration hosted by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D–Long Beach, in the Walter Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach April 25.

Karen Sawyer | Daily 49er
President Jane Close Conoley speaks at a community roundtable and forum on immigration hosted by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D–Long Beach, in the Walter Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach April 25.

Lowenthal, who said he could not say what “sanctuary campus” would entail, said he was open to whatever students wanted it to mean, whether the term applied to students only or any undocumented person on campus.

The roundtable was aimed at educating elected officials about the critical issues facing undocumented students and U.S. students whose parents are deported.

Long Beach Mayor says he was an undocumented immigrant until he went to school at Cal State Long Beach at a community roundtable and forum on immigration hosted by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D–Long Beach, in the Walter Pyramid April 25.

Karen Sawyer | Daily 49er
Long Beach Mayor says he was an undocumented immigrant until he went to school at Cal State Long Beach at a community roundtable and forum on immigration hosted by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D–Long Beach, in the Walter Pyramid April 25.

 

Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D–Long Beach, introduces the next speaker at the community roundtable and forum on immigration he hosted in the Walter Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach April 25.

Karen Sawyer | Daily 49er
Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D–Long Beach, introduces the next speaker at the community roundtable and forum on immigration he hosted in the Walter Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach April 25.

 

1 Comment

One Response to “Congressman condemns deportation”

  1. Tammy sawyer on April 27th, 2016 4:15 am

    Bring Jose’ Alvarez home.

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