by Karen Vanegas
After the efforts of Montgomery County young adults reached media and politicians, Northwest alumnus and Montgomery College student Jorge Steven Acuña, along with his parents, was released from Snow Hill Detention Center.
What started out in Rodolfo Espinoza’s basement soon became a trending topic around the county, literally. #JSA quickly flooded timelines as high school and college students took to their social networks to spread the word about this injustice.
Soon after, Julio Castillo created the Facebook group that allowed strangers to come together for a common cause; the group garnered more than 1,500 members in a matter of days. Newsfeeds exploded with links to http://www.change.org/petitions/jsa. The link “changed” just yesterday to www.lethimstay.net, when David Moon purchased an URL to help make it easier to get the word around. And the word sure got around, to more than 6,000 people, as of March 13th, 2012.
Cars were painted, shirts were made, phones were dialed, interviews were taking place, videos were produced, meetings were occurring, flyer were distributed, sidewalks were chalked up and strangers were becoming friends. The power that this effort obtained in days is surreal.
Generacion Latina had the privilege to interview four crucial members of this movement, Julio, Melissa, Paola and Adrienne, this afternoon, just hours before Congressmen Chris Van Hollen released the following statement-
“I’m pleased that ICE reviewed the facts of the case and decided to release Jorge and the Acuna family and stayed their removal for a year. In light of the circumstances in this situation, it was the fair and humane decision.”
We must not forget that even though our primary goal has been accomplished, we still have a long way to go. With the momentum we have reached, we must continue to fight for Jorge and his family, to obtain legal status. Moreover, we must use the impact we have right now to bring light to this issue, an issue that affects many promising lives… We must be their voice.
We can make a difference. We can promote change. We already have proved that. So, why stop now? This is just the beginning.
The sentiments of this effort are as pure-hearted as they come. To Jorge’s family, to his close friends, to everyone and anyone who did anything to make Jorge come back home… THANK YOU!
With that said, please make this effort come to life tomorrow at the Acuña’s press conference, rally, and candlelight vigil. For more information, go to: http://casademaryland.org/press-release/1821-breaking-news-acuna-family-released-from-custody