The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

On June 8, Diego Ismael Puma Macancela was planning to attend his high school prom. Instead, the Ossining, New York high school senior was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and placed into deportation proceedings. Diego came to America with his mother in 2014, fleeing gang violence in his native Ecuador, according to a statement from the New York Immigration Coalition, an advocacy organization. His mother was detained June 7, according to NBC News New York, and Diego had escaped to a cousin’s apartment, fearing he might be next.

The reprieve was shortlived; ICE agents showed up to arrest him the next day.

“They grabbed him like he’s a criminal,” Diego’s cousin Gabriela Macancela told NBC. “He didn’t do anything wrong; he was just doing the best he could for his future,” she said of her cousin, who has never been convicted of a crime and was scheduled to graduate from high school in August.

In response, family, friends and immigration advocates convened a rally on Monday, outside of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in New York City, calling for his release. “Instead of wearing a tuxedo and putting [on] a boutonniere… he was wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles,” Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said at the rally.

Neither Diego nor his mother were convicted of any crimes.

“It is a senseless use of resources to needlessly police people who are in this country trying to create a better life for themselves,” Choi continued. “We will not be safer when an entire community is needlessly criminalized and therefore afraid to interact with law enforcement. This not who we are as Americans, and this is not our New York.”

Raymond Sanchez, superintendent of Ossining Public School District, was among the speakers, appealing to the importance of a high school education: “The recent actions involving Diego have created fear across our community and in some of the students we educate… What message are we sending in our society when a child is not permitted to complete his high school education?”

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), who represents Ossining, requested a stay of removal for Diego and his mother, which along with an additional legal filing, is pending.

According to the New York Daily News, Diego remains in an ICE detention facility in Hudson County, New Jersey.

Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

When times become challenging, it is common for people to overlook their own needs. There are two ways that you can proactively take care of yourself. One is to have an annual wellness check-up with your primary doctor. The other is to visit your dentist twice a year for your teeth.

Why Visit Your Primary Care Doctor?

It is essential that adults visit their primary care provider at least once a year. This service is typically covered by insurance and can be a preventative check to catch any type of condition that might be lurking. Your doctor discusses your medical history with you, determines any risk factors, and performs an exam. Your primary doctor can determine if you need any exams, testing, or referral to a specialist. During this time, your doctor will review medications with you, provide vaccinations, and manage any diseases you may have.

Keep reading... Show less

Close