A Long Beach father, Nicolas Martinez Telles, will be able to return home to his children after over three months in ICE detention now that enough money has been raised for his bail.
The Long Beach Community Defense Network began to bring awareness to Martinez’s plight through social media on March 23.
According to the Long Beach Community Defense Network, Martinez reached out to them after being stopped and apprehended by ICE when he was crossing the street from his home to his car on March 1, 2020. The group monitors the activities of ICE in local communities and dispatches advocates to assist those being detained.
Martinez’s partner was left to support the couple’s four children on her own as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded. As the health crisis and stay at home order went on, her hours as a domestic worker were cut to once a week, and then completely eliminated.
The Long Beach Community Defense Network encouraged the community to donate directly to the family through Venmo. This information was then shared by other local immigrant rights groups, including the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition and the Sanctuary Long Beach Coalition.
Meanwhile, Martinez was being held at the ICE run Adelanto Detention Center without access to gloves or hand sanitizer in the middle of a pandemic, according to his lawyers. Immigrant Defenders Law Center told the Signal Tribune that ICE distributed masks to detainees on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.
“And if these are disposable masks then this is definitely a problem,” Immigrant Defenders Law Center attorney Sandra Patlan told the Signal Tribune, “if the detainee has to wear one throughout the whole day [for] one day and then [has] to wear the same mask for at least two days. These are unsanitary conditions that they are keeping the detainees in.”
ICE claims it provides detainees with personal protective equipment and sufficient medical care.
Immigrant Defenders Law Center attorney Lisa Okamoto told the Signal Tribune during a June 3 phone interview that even before the pandemic, detainees at Adelanto have been receiving inadequate medical care.
“Other than the health concerns of the current pandemic,” Okamoto said, “Adelanto has always had inadequate medical resources to respond to just general medical concerns that people have had. We’ve had other clients who have not been able to obtain general medication, like pills and things that they’ve needed. They’ve either not received [it] or it’s been slow.”
Martinez’s family was unable to visit him throughout his detention, only speaking to him on the phone.
While one friend was able to visit Martinez at Adelanto about a week after he was apprehended by ICE, shortly after that ICE stopped allowing social visitors to detention centers due to the pandemic.
Detainees’ lawyers are still allowed to visit, but have to bring their own required kit of protective health supplies, including gloves, goggles and surgical masks.
After a judge set Martinez’s bail at $23,000, the Sanctuary Long Beach Coalition started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $21,000 before June 14.
The Sanctuary Long Beach Coalition announced on social media Tuesday, June 9 that the $23,000 needed for Martinez to post bail and allow him to fight his deportation case from home had been raised.
A total of $8000 was raised by community members through the online campaign, and $10,000 was donated by the National Jail Fund Network. The Long Beach Liberation Fund provided another $5,000, the first donation made by the fund since its creation, according to James Suazo of the Sanctuary Long Beach Coalition.
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Thanks to all the grassroots community donations and support from the National Bail Fund Network, all $23,000 needed to free Nicolas from Adelanto Detention Center has been raised as of June 9th, 2020! This community win is a testament to the power of Long Beach coming together to keep families together and fight back against this country’s deportation machine. In total, we raised nearly $8,000 in grassroots donations and received $5,000 from the Long Beach Liberation Fund and $10,000 from the National Bail Fund Network. Members of the Sanctuary Long Beach coalition are currently working with Nicolas’ family, lawyer, and the Orange County Justice Fund (fiscal sponsor of the Long Beach Liberation Fund) to post bond and bring Nicolas home. Nicolas’ case is one of many Long Beach residents who face unfair and unjust deportations and need community support. Sign up at sanctuarylb.com/join to stay informed of future actions that empower migrants, immigrants, and refugees and build power to transform the Long Beach community for liberation. ___________________________________________________________________________ SPANISH TRANSLATION Gracias a las donaciones de la comunidad y al apoyo de La Red Nacional de Fondos de Fianza hemos podido recaudar todos los $23,000 necesarios para liberar a Nicolas del Centro de Detención de Adelanto! Esta victoria es un testimonio del poder que la comunidad de Long Beach tiene cuando nos unimos para mantener a familias unidas y luchamos contra la máquina de deportación que existe en este país. En total, hemos recaudado casi $8,000 en donaciones comunitarias, $5,000 del Fondo de Liberación de Long Beach y $10,000 de La Red Nacional de Fondos de Fianza. Actualmente miembros de la Coalición Sanctuaria de Long Beach están trabajando con la familia de Nicolas, su abogado, y El Fondo de Justicia del Condado de Orange (patrocinador fiscal del Fondo de Liberación de Long Beach) para pagar la fianza y traer a Nicolas de vuelta a casa. El caso de Nicolas es uno de varios de la ciudad de Long Beach. Existen muchos otros casos de miembros de la comunidad de Long Beach que enfrentan deportaciones injustas y necesitan apoyo de la comunidad
Martinez will be receiving legal representation through Immigrant Defenders Law Center, paid for by the Long Beach Justice Fund.
The Long Beach Justice Fund was created by the City of Long Beach using a $100,000 grant received in April 2019 from the Vera Institute of Justice. The fund pays for legal representation by Immigrant Defenders Law Center for Long Beach residents and workers facing deportation.
“When people are detained their immigration case runs incredibly rapid,” Okamoto said, “which means that there’s often not enough time to obtain needed evidence, needed experts, things like that, to have for his defense. And when he’s released on a non detained docket, the amount of time that he has to prepare doubles, triples. It just makes such a difference for him to be able to prepare for his legal case.”
If you are witnessing an ICE raid or know of an upcoming raid, immediately call (562) 269-1083.