FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Asylum seeker Ms. Q still detained after winning fight after ICE targeting
NEW YORK, NY — On Friday, January 27, advocates in support of Ms. Q., an immigration activist and asylum seeker who was targeted for deportation by ICE, sought a stay order on her behalf to remain in the U.S. After a month of calls to ICE, actions from supporters, and a lawsuit, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of Ms. Q., determining that she will not be deported at the end of the month. The ruling protects Ms. Q’s ability to seek judicial review of her asylum claim. However, Ms. Q. is still being held in Orange County jail, pending release by ICE.
In a statement released through her attorney, Ms. Q said “I never lost faith that this day would come. I keep fighting not just for me but for everyone who is going through this. I just hope that ICE will release me as soon as possible so I can be reunited with my girlfriend, my family, and my nieces and nephews who are asking when I will come home. I know this is just the first step. Thank you to everyone who has supported me.”
In 2021, Ms. Q. was violently injured while shackled by ICE. While detained by ICE, she was denied medical care and spoke out against this lack of treatment. After community and legal advocates fought on her behalf after her detention, Ms. Q. was released. Once released, Ms. Q. spoke out against the horrific conditions inside ICE detention that impact hundreds of immigrant New Yorkers every day, advocating for the passage of the New York Dignity Not Detention bill. ICE then retaliated against Ms. Q., arresting and jailing her under threat of deportation again.
“It’s ridiculous that Ms. Q. is still being locked inside Orange County Jail after everything she’s experienced” said Tania Mattos of Envision Freedom Fund. “Her bravery in the face of repeated violence has been inspiring. She should be out with her family and friends – especially now that she’s been granted the ability to stay by a federal court. We call on ICE to release Ms. Q. immediately so that she can return to community.”
The Dignity Not Detention working group is an extension of the Abolish ICE NY NJ Coalition and includes representatives from the following New York based organizations: Envision Freedom Fund, Freedom for Immigrants, Showing Up for Racial Justice – NYC Chapter, Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, New York State Youth Leadership Council, New York Lawyers For The Public Interest, Rochester Rapid Response Network, Center for Constitutional Rights, Democratic Socialists of America – NYC Chapter, Catholic Charities, Survived and Punished New York, Families For Freedom, The Bronx Defenders, and Critical Resistance NYC.