1,000 signatures reached
To: Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Pardon Assia Serrano and End Her Family Separation
Please take action by (1) demanding that ICE #FreeAssia, and stop her deportation so she can reunite with her family and (2) demanding that Governor Cuomo use his discretionary power as Governor to grant Assia's pardon application and end ICE transfers in NY.
Why is this important?
Assia Serrano is a Panamanian immigrant survivor of manipulation and abuse. After spending 15 years incarcerated for actions she took as a young person under the coercive influence of her abuser — her then-partner, a man 20 years older than her — Assia’s sentence was shortened under the Domestic Violence Survivors’ Justice Act. But instead of being released to reunite with her family in the U.S. (including her two children), New York State handed her directly over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She is now incarcerated by ICE at Rensselaer County Jail.
We know ICE wants to move quickly to deport Assia, despite the fact that she has lived in the U.S. since she was a young teenager. In 2007, shortly after the state locked Assia up, ICE rushed her through deportation proceedings in a flagrantly unfair process where she was unrepresented and could barely present a legal defense. Unsurprisingly, with the deck stacked against her, she now has an order of deportation, meaning ICE could deport her any day.
Assia belongs at home with her community and loved ones, not in Panama where she hasn’t been since she was 15. ICE is intent on making Assia’s already prolonged family separation permanent and destroying Assia’s dreams for her family and future. Indeed, while Assia was incarcerated, she has worked as: a translator; a caregiver in the Children’s Center caring for people during pregnancy (an issue she is especially passionate about because she was pregnant when she was arrested), as well as for their children; and as a teacher in classes focused on prenatal care and sex. She remains actively involved in her own children’s life, despite her abusive ex-partner’s attempt to withhold access to their children.