To: Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, Sarah Saldaña, Director of ICE, President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate
Free Yefri Sorto and Pedro Salmeron
We the signers of this petition demand that the Department of Homeland Security set free Yefry Sorto (A# 206-766-187) and Pedro Salmerón (A# 206-794-982).
These young men came to this country as refugees fleeing dangerous conditions in El Salvador. If you send them back, you will be putting their lives in danger.
We demand that you allow Yefri to continue his appeal for Stay of Removal and allow Pedro to continue working to obtain asylum.
They should be bestowed refugee status and allowed to stay with their families in the United States.
If sent back to El Salvador, both young men face the very real possibility of being killed by gangs.
We also call on ICE to stop targeting refugee youth, especially students.
Why is this important?
Yefri Sorto-Hernandez and Pedro Salmeron were minors when in 2014 they braved the perilous journey to the United States, fleeing gang violence in El Salvador.
Several days before coming here, Pedro’s cousin was brutally executed by gang members, because he would not join. In order to escape this fate, Pedro fled to the United States to be with his family.
Scared that their son may face this same reality, Yefri’s parents brought him to the United States.
On January 26th, on his way to work, Pedro was dragged out of his father’s truck and detained by immigration officials.
Pedro is a good person with no criminal record. According to his family, he is a computer genius who dreams of one day being an engineer.
On January 27th, Yefri was apprehended by immigration officials at the bus stop on the way to school. It was seven hours later that his parents got a call from a federal agent saying their son had been arrested and was being held for deportation.
Yefri is a very studious young man with high marks in school. According to his mother, he is quiet, humble, and loved by many at his school.
Both boys should be bestowed refugee status and allowed to stay with their families in the United States.
The two teens are awaiting their fate in the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA, a place that is harsh. According to Pedro, the guards have threatened to attack him several times.
On several occasions, immigration officials have attempted to covertly expedite their deportations.
Like many of the over 100,000 families that arrived here in 2014, these young men did not have adequate legal representation when they applied for refugee status. Now they are facing deportation. If sent back to El Salvador, both teens face the very real possibility of death at the hands of gangs.