FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Family and friends of a Fort Wayne man granted a stay of deportation after being arrested during the protest in Fort Wayne spoke out about his situation Thursday afternoon outside the Allen County Courthouse.
“If they deport me, you’re sending me to my death,” Jorge Oliva said. “I’m back and I’m going to continue doing what I have been doing.”
Back in June, Fort Wayne police arrested 26-year-old Jorge Oliva for disorderly conduct, obstructing traffic, and resisting law enforcement during Black Lives Matter protests. When Oliva bonded out, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took him into federal custody.
“I know how a dog feels to be in their kennel,” Oliva said. “I was in a 12 by 8 cell. Concrete walls was all I saw.”
Oliva has been in federal detainment in Brazil, Indiana for the past three weeks. This week he was granted a stay of deportation and was allowed to return to Fort Wayne to await his next court date in August.
Thursday, ‘Faith in Indiana’ helped organize a press conference to talk about the groups next steps. Organizers want local leaders, Mayor Tom Henry, Prosecutor Karen Richards, Fort Wayne Police Chief Steve Reed, and Sheriff David Gladieux to work with them to better the community and make it more inclusive to all residents.
Oliva says he does have a criminal record and was charged with possession and battery when he was a teenager. He said he knew the risks of being deported when he decided to protest but said it was a risk he was willing to take.
“If I have to use my case in order to give the people the strength to speak up I’ll do it all over again,” Oliva said. “I’m still going to do it.”
Oliva next court hearing is set for August. ‘Faith in Indiana’ is calling for Sheriff David Gladieux to release all formal and informal informational documents pertaining to the department’s relationship with ICE. They have set a deadline of seven days.