I wrote this letter to the editor of the Village Voice in response to their recent article about Pablo, but it looks as though they don't print these letters at all. Just thought I'd share...
by Victoria Tychan
To the Editor:
As one of many of his devoted supporters, I am more than happy that Pablo Airaldi has found justice and freedom and an end to his recent immigration woes. It would seem that this conclusion arrived quite quickly, only a day after the article in your paper was published, when in reality, the case was fiercely battled for nearly three years.
I worry that your readers will take the news of Pablo’s release as a simple, satisfying victory, without the understanding of how rare this result must be. It is clear that most individuals facing deportation and removal proceedings do not have the resources that were available to Pablo. They do not have meetings of supporters or money from fundraisers or media outlets. They will often be held for years in private prisons without regulation and no definite end in sight.
Under the Obama administration, deportations have skyrocketed in the US. Through Pablo’s experiences, I heard of many stories of the unjustly detained, and Pablo did whatever possible to help anyone he could since attorneys are not provided by the state, and the vast majority do not have the money for such an enormous expense. Pablo himself was repeatedly told that he had no chance of winning his case and should allow himself to be deported due to a ten year old infraction for which he did not have to serve any jail time.
I want only for citizens to learn about the way our immigration system operates, in hopes that they will see that the current structure of detaining and systematically debasing our fellow men and women is not in line with our fundamental values of justice, freedom, and the assumption that one is innocent until proven guilty.