On July 17th, in a move hailed by immigration and civil rights groups, Governor Chafee signed an executive order mandating that Rhode Island’s Department of Corrections “no longer honor federal immigration detainers without a warrant.”
Unfortunately, it seems the Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs did not get the memo. Last Friday the Sheriffs detained Gustavo Torres at the courthouse after a judge ordered his release. Gustavo has been in this country for 15 years and is married to Amanda Torres with whom he has three children. He now runs the risk of being deported.
On Thursday the Olneyville Neighborhood Association, in collaboration with the We Are Arizona Coalition, held a rally at the State House which culminated in an emotional meeting between Kenny Alston, Governor Chafee’s chief of staff, and Gustavo’s wife, Amanda Torres. With Torres were her three children. Though there was no immediate resolution to the crisis, Alston did assure the thirty people at the rally and Gustavo’s wife that the Governor’s office was doing everything it could to bring this situation to a just and speedy resolution.
And watch Chafee chief of staff Kenny Alston address the group in this video:
Representatives from groups such as Jobs with Justice, English for Action, Fuerza Laboral, SEIU, Immigrants in Action Committee, American Friends Service Committee, Providence Youth Student Movement, Unitarian Universalist Association, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and the Brown Student Labor Alliance were also in attendance.