Update: Nov. 18. 9:45 a.m.
Abonza-Lopez was released from an immigration detention center Friday night in Pearsall, Texas, after more than one month in detention.
Local activist organization Mano Amiga gathered at the San Marcos Public Library Tuesday to encourage community members to call and demand the immediate release of a San Marcos resident and DACA recipient.
Felipe Abonza-Lopez has been in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center for a month with no charges made against him. Lopez was stopped by local police near Uvalde, Texas on Oct. 12 with three other undocumented family members for reasons that are unclear.
Lopez and his family members were then taken to a border patrol station and arrested by ICE officials as part of a “human smuggling investigation,” according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Lopez has been detained in the South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, Texas for a month despite having no charges filed against him and a current DACA status that will expire in 2019.
As an amputee from a young age, Lopez claimed to be in extreme pain while in detention.
In a letter to his attorney, Lopez states he was denied medical care and mocked for his prosthetic leg by prison officials and medical staff. One guard allegedly told medical staff, “you can put a broomstick in his leg and he can use it to sweep.”
Jacob Ricks, Lopez’s brother-in-law, said he’d like to ask ICE field director Daniel Bible why Lopez has been held so long with no charges against him.
“What’s crazy to me is, I would like to know why he’s still being held on no charges,” Ricks said. “To be held on no charges for over a month is kind of crazy.”
Amy Fischer, a policy advisor for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services in Austin, said RAICES learned about the case a week ago and has since been in contact with Lopez’s family and his attorney.
“There is no reason Felipe should be detained right now,” Fischer said. “He has DACA, his DACA is current. ICE actually has possession of his card that specifically says that he has DACA and is current, and yet, they’re still detaining him. The reason why they’re detaining him is what we’ve seen time and time again over the past few months, is that ICE and Border Patrol are going to do whatever they want to do so long as they think no body is paying attention. And so what we’re doing today, we’re paying attention.”
For more information or if interested in helping, visit the Mano Amiga Facebook page or call their hotline at 512-766-6854.