More than 30 people were arrested outside of Connecticut’s Ribicoff Federal Building on Monday morning, where they had gathered to protest the impending deportation of an undocumented couple who had raised their family in the Hartford community for nearly 25 years. One of the people arrested was the couple’s own son.
Franklin and Giaconda Ramos are scheduled to be deported back to Ecuador on Friday, 24 years after coming to the U.S. in 1993. Since moving to Connecticut, the Ramos family purchased a home, and sent their two sons—Jason and Erick, both U.S citizens—to college.
The Record Journal reported that Franklin and Giaconda Ramos were told on August 1 to provide proof of purchase for a one-way ticket to Ecuador by the end of that month, and have also been required to wear GPS-tracking ankle bracelets until their deportation. Neither has a criminal record.
“Only one week I leave my sons, all my life in this country,” Gioconda Ramos told the Record Journal. “I am very, very sad.”
Waving banners that read “Keep the Ramos Family Together” and “ICE Stop Your Ethnic Cleansing,” 100 or so protesters gathered outside the Ribicoff building, where Hartford’s immigration offices are located, to demand an emergency extension for the Ramoses, NBC Connecticut reported.
“We’re running out of options — we have to be creative, we have to be direct,” Jason, the eldest Ramos child, explained. “And I take full responsibility for the consequences of these actions. But these agencies are oppressing millions of immigrants, and they need to be held accountable.”
Shortly after the protest began, Jason was arrested after he and others sat and blocked the doors to the building.
“We’ve been doing things peacefully, legally, obediently,” Erick Ramos told the paper, after his brother’s arrest. “For me, as a brother, I know he’s standing up for me. But what’s Mom going to think? I hope that one day she sees we tried to sacrifice as much as she did.”
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