Hope for Justice

Jose Robles sitting on a bench in front of a stained glass window

Jose Robles has been detained at the Northwest Detention Center since he left the sanctuary of Gethsemane Church on July 17, 2019.

On July 17, Jose, along with his attorney, sought a stay of removal while his U-Visa was pending. Jose was detained, and is still awaiting an expedited decision on his U-Visa. It has been over 3 months in detention, following over a year in sanctuary. Jose provided the primary income to his family–his wife, 3 daughters and a granddaughter–since they created a home in Washington over 10 years ago. 

Many UUC members have shown up in support and solidarity: at a service to mark one-year in sanctuary; a press conference mid-summer; the march to the USCIS office with Jose and his family in July; and at vigils after he was detained. UUC’s Immigrant Justice Team coordinated one of the vigils after Jose was detained in mid-July–Rev. Beth and Roberta Ray led prayers and song outside the detention center, and Jose’s family joined. Jose and his family are deeply appreciative of the circle of support and solidarity.

Jose is keeping daily communication with his immediate family. This is particularly important in ensuring he remains hopeful and connected to his family, including his brother and extended family. With several not feeling safe to visit in person, text and Skype communications add up. 

  • Texts cost 25 cents each. With 5 in his immediate family, it typically costs $25-30 for his weekly text communications.
  • Video and phone calls typically cost $50-$75 each week. Regular communication is important to everyone in Jose’s family, but particularly important to his 10-year old daughter feeling some comfort by keeping in touch with her Dad. 
  • Jose’s family has added travel costs in driving to the detention center to visit. It’s 20 miles round trip for every visit, and this adds about $80-100 to their monthly expenses. 

There are so many basic items Jose needs to purchase while in detention: toothpaste, soap, soda, lotion, and even food. He reports that the food is horrible, but he has been purchasing ramen cups and some snacks, to ensure he doesn’t get hungry in between the provided meals. 

Some additional costs for his U-Visa: As Jose’s case continues, he has about $2,100 in related expenses for which he needs help.

Ways you can continue to offer support : Donate online via Gethsemane Lutheran Church. Link here and choose “sanctuary.” Your gift will help defray these ongoing costs for Jose and his family.

Read about Jose’s story and/or listen to podcasts. (The most recent two were recorded since his detention).