(AUSTIN, Texas) — A father of five and local business owner who has lived in central Texas for more than 30 years is back with his family today after community members organized hundreds of calls and emails and held a protest outside the Hays County Jail calling for his release.
Alicia Guerrero had witnessed her father’s arrest during a traffic stop early Thursday morning, after police say he rolled through a stop sign. Martin Guerrero Alvarado, a father of four U.S. citizen children and a DACA recipient, and local business owner, was arrested for driving without a license and was held in the Hays County Jail on an ICE detainer. Police are not required to arrest someone for driving without a license and have the discretion to instead issue a citation.
Alicia Guerrero is Mr. Guerrero’s daughter. She joined Grassroots Leadership this summer as an intern for La Linea de Defensa Comunitaria, where she has responded to calls from immigrant community members seeking legal resources, or whose family members had been detained. She is a native Austinite, former high school art teacher, and is currently a master’s student in the Educational Policy and Planning program at the University of Texas.
“I honestly feel like a I woke up from a horrible nightmare,” Alicia Guerrero said. “All of this is so surreal. I’m just thankful beyond belief.”
Immigration advocates vowed to continue to fight to stop deportations, to push local officials to end ICE-local law enforcement collaboration programs, and to ensure that SB4, which allows police to ask about immigration status during traffic stops and is set for implementation on September 1st, does not go into effect.
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Grassroots Leadership is an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation and criminalization are things of the past.
Bethany Carson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-499-8111