Free Ivan

Free Ivan

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The front page of this issue of PGN features a story on a couple whose happy day was upended last month.

Jose “Ivan” Nuñez and his husband, Paul Frame, were in the process of changing Nuñez’s immigration status. The couple was married April 6, 2016, and this would have been their last step in making sure Nuñez, who is from Mexico, a documented citizen of this country — even though one could argue this country was his home the moment he set foot here.

The pair had a Jan. 31 meeting with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in West Philadelphia to confirm the validity of their marriage.

Yet, even though they tried to do the right thing, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained Nuñez, despite his lack of a criminal record. He is currently being held at York County Prison.

GALAEI and Juntos held a press conference Monday in support of Nuñez. Frame was also in attendance and spoke through tears about the turmoil he went through with his husband.

“I had no doubt that morning we would go in and everything was going to be fine. I was very confident,” Frame said. “I’m a very strong person. I’ve been through a lot in my life. [But] I’m scared. I’m nervous and my heart bleeds for Ivan. I am mad because we were trying to do the right thing.”

GALAEI and Juntos united to ensure Frame would be united with his husband. The groups launched a petition, which can be found here: http://bit.ly/2GexqV0. There is no reason why Nuñez should continue to be detained, and the only way to ensure the couple spends many happy years together is to speak up. Several national media outlets have already brought critical attention to this issue, and the online petition has more than 1,000 signatures at this writing.

This may elicit feel-good vibes about how the community has come together to #FreeIvan but it can’t stop there. It may be difficult to take action by holding a press conference if you don’t have the time or resources to do so, but signing a petition is easy.

Now take that small step to #FreeIvan.


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