Julio Diaz Sales and Adolfo Garcia Diaz were 17 years old when immigration agents busted down the door of their Miami-area home. Julio and Adolfo say they were handcuffed, thrown on the floor, and beaten in the face and chest.
Only it was all a mistake — Julio and Adolfo had not committed any crimes. Immigration agents later admitted they broke into the wrong house as part of a sting operation.
Despite all this, immigration officials are set to deport Julio and Adolfo out of the U.S. on Sunday. Their attorney, Romy Lerner, knows that Change.org members have helped stop dozens of other last-minute deportations, and she thinks the only chance the boys have is to rally public support.
Their injuries were so bad that the immigration center’s director immediately started an investigation into what happened. But Romy says immigration agents apparently showed little concern for the boys’ injuries.
“No agent was hurt,” wrote one immigration agent in an email obtained by Univision. “I’m not sure what happened with the bad guys, but who cares what happened to them anyways?”
The “bad guys” were Julio and Adolfo — two 17-year-old boys mistakenly caught up in a botched raid.
Julio and Adolfo came to the U.S. from Guatemala as children. While they entered the country without documentation, they’ve worked hard in America and don’t have any criminal record.
Despite ICE’s initial mistake in targeting the boys, their subsequent beatings, and their otherwise clean backgrounds, Julio and Adolfo have until only Sunday before they’re deported back to Guatemala.
Romy Lerner, the boys’ attorney, has represented many people facing deportation. When she sees what Julio and Adolfo have been through, she fears that the immigration system will continue to fail her clients. She’s hoping to rally support for the cousins in their final days before they’ll be forced to leave the U.S.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
– Gabriela and the Change.org team