On July 8 Liberation News attended an event in Willard, Ohio, for Jesus Lara who is facing deportation in a matter of days.

Lara came to the United States 16 years ago from Mexico as part of the wave of economically devastated Mexican nationals whose livelihoods had been decimated by the World Bank’s Structural Adjustment policies paving the way for the North American Free Trade Agreement passed in 1994.

Lara is a respected member of the Willard community who has purchased a home, is raising his four young children and works hard in the local agricultural community. Having spent years diligently complying with the Order of Supervision placed upon him by the Obama administration after getting pulled over in 2008 for driving without a license since his legal status prohibits him from obtaining one, Lara is now facing deportation. Since 2012 Lara has been working under a work permit.

In March of this year Lara was informed by ICE that he was being deported. This outrageous example of Trump’s attack on immigrant rights represents what so many hard-working immigrants are experiencing and why people are resisting the Trump agenda across the United States and beyond. Aware that the problem is deeper than Trump, working-class people from all walks of life and of all ages, genders and backgrounds are taking steps to create their own Peoples’ Congress of Resistance to create a plan for resisting the Trump agenda and for creating a society where all rights, including immigrant rights, are respected. Liberation News had an opportunity to talk to Lara about his pending deportation.

Contingent from Liberation News at the fundraiser

Liberation: What do you want people to know about your pending deportation?

Jesus Lara: I need people’s support. My family needs me and I need them. I need people know about my case so they can support me and others like me.

LN: What does your pending deportation mean for you and your family?

JL: It is very sad. Part of this is that I’m going to leave my family here and they are going to have to work so hard without me.

LN: Where will you go and what will you do if you are in fact deported?

JL: I don’t know what I’m going to do. Whatever I do, I will do it legally. My family’s future is here in the United States.

LN: Why do you think your case was reappraised by ICE?

JL: The government rescinded my work permit renewal in March of this year because in 2008 I received a ticket for driving without a license. There was a petition for allowing my stay, but they didn’t accept it. I had a permit for working and gave them more information than they needed, but they still didn’t accept it. They simply refused to accept it as a matter of principle. I don’t know what I’m going to do about my permit. Trump said he was only going to deport the criminals, and I am not a criminal. I simply did not have a license.

LN: What do you have to say in response to Trump’s promise not to deport people such as yourself?

JL: Trump is a liar. He said he was only going to deport criminals, but instead he’s just deporting everybody. My son wants to be a lawyer one day, but how can that happen if I’m gone?

LN: How has the immigrant community helped the town of Willard?

JL: The managers in the field support the immigrants because they do the work that needs to be done. We support each other.

LN: Have you faced any negative backlash from local residents? What has been the degree of support locally?

JL: In the past the town was supporting me, but with the situation that is happening right now some have stopped supporting immigrants like myself. There are people who won’t defend me, but maybe they would have the heart to help me if they had a better understanding of what we’re going through.

LN: Do you have anything else you’d like to say or that you want people to know?

JL: For the people who are listening, I do not want my family to be here alone. We have a house that needs to be paid for, and with the situation that is happening now I do not know what will happen to them.