To: Todd Thurlow, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT-1), and Sen. Christopher Murphy (CT-2)

Tell ICE to grant Nelson Pinos a stay so he may return HOME to his family!

CT Shoreline Indivisible

Nelson Pinos has lived in the US for 26 years. He’s a homeowner and father of 3 US citizen children. He’s a New Haven, CT taxpayer who worked in the same factory for many years- until the Department of Homeland Security told him to return to Ecuador 3 1/2 weeks before Christmas last year. Nelson has lived in a church in sanctuary ever since. It's been over 10 months.

Why is this important?

Nelson arrived in the US from Ecuador in 1992 and has not left since. He’s a hardworking family man and has dutifully checked into INS/ICE for many years- always having his work permit approved and getting told he “is not a priority for deportation” since he has no criminal record.

At a routine check-in on a chilly day last October, Homeland Security put a large black electronic monitoring device on Nelson's ankle and told him to fly to a country he has not seen in 26 years, leaving his loving partner and 3 minor kids behind. Nelson could not leave his family and so he sought refuge. He has been living in the pastor’s office at First and Summerfield United Methodists Church, located on the New Haven green, ever since.

Homeland Security’s arbitrary decision to separate this kind and loving family is another example of family separation happening in our local communities, in addition to family separation at the border.

There is no compelling reason to break up Nelson’s family. It's unnecessary. It’s cruel.

Nelson’s children have suffered tremendously the past year. He’s missed apple picking, fishing outings, hikes, parent/teacher nights, Easter, and Christmas. Nelson’s oldest daughter turned 16 without her dad home- and little Brandon turned 6. Arlly, who turned 13, finds it hard to concentrate on her schoolwork. Kelly has nightmares and Brandon continues to ask why his father can’t return home, as he tries to understand why this happening to his family as best he can. Every day that Nelson remains in sanctuary and away from his family, is another day of trauma for them all.

It’s time to end this cruel family separation at the hands of the Department of Homeland Security. It’s time to demand that ICE allow Nelson OUT OF SANCTUARY so he can take care of his family while his lawyers continue to pursue his path to legal status. ICE has the discretion to grant Nelson a stay of removal and we are asking that they recognize and END the harm and trauma being inflicted on this family.


Enough is enough!

Charla Nich & Gini King, Vanesa Suarez, Terra Martin-Volpe
CT Shoreline Indivisible, Unidad Latina en Accion, Action Together CT