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Friday, September 09, 2005

Please Help Save Andrea Mortlock


After legally immigrating to the United States as a young girl, Ms. Mortlock was raised by a single mother under difficult circumstances. As a teenager, she developed a drug addiction and eventually served a sentence for a drug-related crime. After completing her sentence, Ms. Mortlock was placed in deportation proceedings and an Immigration Judge issued a final order of removal in her case.

Although she had a final order of removal, Jamaican authorities refused to issue her travel documents on account of her HIV status and so she was forced to spend three years in immigration detention before a federal district court judge finally ruled that she should be released under an order of supervision.
Ms. Mortlock

Since her release, Ms. Mortlock has complied fully with the order and has returned to school, concentrating in Medical Administration and attempting to piece her life back together. Ms. Mortlock's attorneys, Olivia Cassin of The Legal Aid Society and Sarah L. Cave of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, have also filed a motion to have her case reopened.

Despite her fragile health and the fact that she complied with the order of supervision for more than two years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is attempting to deport her to Jamaica and in the meantime has detained her.

The New York Times recently ran a story on Ms. Mortlock's case, highlighting the involvement of the Organization of American States, which has issued an injunction against her deportation to Jamaica ("Rights Agency Urges U.S. Not to Deport AIDS Patient", New York Times, August, 27, 2005). Ms. Mortlock's health has been put in perilous danger inside the Passaic County Jail and she continues to deteriorate with each passing day.

We ask that you IMMEDIATELY write and call New York Acting Field Office Director Christopher Shanahan at the following address:

Christopher Shanahan, Acting Field Office Director
New YorkU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Office of Detention and Removal
26 Federal Plaza, Rm. 11-104
New York, NY 10278

Or, give Mr. Shanahan a call at: (212) 264-3972 and make sure your voice is heard!

Please email Sarah Sohn of Immigration Equality at ssohn@immigrationequality.org after you mail, email or call Mr. Shanahan so we can keep track of the effort. Please send letters ASAP. Every letter and phone call makes a tremendous difference. Please help save Andrea Mortlock!

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