An online fundraiser has been established for a Trinidadian national who has found himself detained by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency despite having legitimate documents to reside legally in the country.
On June 5, Trevor James was taken into custody from his job in Raleigh, North Carolina and taken to a detention centre in Atlanta.
In a social media post, his sister Solange James said, “Trevor has always been in the country legally under his F1 visa and through his LPR (Greencard). He was currently in the process of updating his temporary 2-year green card and his case was being handled by an immigration attorney. We have no idea why ICE has detained him and he’s just expected to sit in detention indefinitely—simply for being an immigrant.”
She explained that her brother was expected to see a judge five days after he was detained, with the expectation that a bond for his release would be forthcoming. It was not. The situation was further complicated after James was listed as absent for his green card hearing.
“It has been 6 weeks and he still has not seen a judge. Four weeks into his detention, he was told that there was a measles outbreak in the facility and that he would have to be placed under an additional 30-day quarantine,” she said.
She believes her brother has been a victim of recent immigration policies enforced by US President Donald Trump, who has constantly vowed to clamp down on illegal migrants.
Last week, President Trump ordered ICE raids meant to target 2,000 illegal immigrants across 10 US cities. The success of the raid was said to be successful by the US President, while Democratic congressmen have raised their questions about the effect of the raid.
James believes her brother has been caught in the middle of this standoff.
“They are not simply locking up ‘illegals’ and ‘border crossers’. My brother was picked up at his corporate job. Your Greencard will not save you,” she said.
The GoFundMe account was set up to help James cover legal costs, as he attempts to conform to US authorities that he was legally residing in the country.
“We have some leads on new attorneys that we intend to secure who work specifically with detainees at the Stewart Facility and can also be available to file motions in North Carolina where my brother normally resides,” said James on the GoFundMe page.
As of yesterday afternoon, the page had raised US$2,728.
Guardian Media attempted to contact his sister for an update on the situation yesterday, but up to the time of publication, we had not received feedback.