San Francisco, CA: August 13, 2015. (PCP) It has been over 70 days since Daniel Maher, Recycling Director of the Ecology Center, was arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Daniel came to the U.S. from Macau, as a two year old permanent resident. ICE has detained Daniel based on a decades old conviction, for a crime he committed when he was twenty years old.
After serving a prison sentence, Daniel spent the last 14 years as a dedicated employee and manager at the Ecology Center, sorting recycling, driving trucks, and providing education on sustainability practices. "Daniel has spent his whole adult life bettering himself, working hard, and being a generous, productive member of the community," says Amy Kiser, Program Director at the Ecology Center. Daniel's co-workers are committed to his release and have kept his position open for him while he is detained.
On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, community advocates joined Daniel's family and attorneys in front of the San Francisco ICE building, demanding his release. Supporters chanted, "Immigrants are not disposable!" Family members of Chea Bou, a Cambodian man from Oakland who also faces deportation, joined the rally as well.
Launched in early July, the community campaign* for Daniel's release has received an outpouring of support. A petition to ICE has garnered over 3100 signatures, and dozens of phone calls were made to ICE. Daniel's attorneys delivered petition signatures to ICE representatives at 630 Sansome. Attorneys also filed a lawsuit challenging Daniel's detention.
"Daniel's continued detention shows us the truth behind ICE's claim that deportations make us safer by deporting 'felons not families.' Previously incarcerated people like Daniel are integral parts of our families and communities. We are weaker and less safe when they are taken from us," says Daniel's attorney, Anoop Prasad, from Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus.
Daniel's brother, Anthony Maher, spoke on behalf of the family, "It is apparent by the amount of support he has from his friends, his family, as well as his community that he is an important piece of our lives. Our phone calls to ICE were ignored and our requests have been denied. but he must be released immediately. We will not stop fighting until he is home with us."