What’s happening to 24 year old Andy Mathe and his family is really disturbing and a sign of the lengths that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will go through in order to keep up with it’s record breaking deportation numbers.
Here since he was 19, Andy has been in detention for the last month waiting to be deported to South Africa. His family’s story is complicated and exemplifies the problems not just with the deportation system but with the asylum system.
Andy’s step-father fled Rwanda during the genocide, in 2001 he would marry Andy’s mother, Hope, and have a child. The family was enjoying their life in South Africa until they began receiving death threats in the form of personalized letters, phone calls and at one point an attempt to kidnap the youngest daughter. The family appealed to the United Nations, the local police, pretty much anyone who would listen.
After having her pleas for help rejected the family took things into their own hands with Andy’s stepfather disassociating himself from the family and his mother applying for visas to the United States. Once in Georgia they immediately filed for Asylum, a case which would take four years and end in Andy’s detention. To this day the family has not heard or seen their father.
Last week, Andy was extremely close to being deported. An ICE agent frustrated by the fact that so far Andy has been successful in avoiding deportation told Andy, ” ‘next time we will drug you and deport you.”
You can also call DHS – Janet Napolitano (202-282-8495) and ICE – John Morton (202.732.3000)
Sample Script: “I am calling to ask that Andy Mathe (A#88-488-386) and his family be allowed to stay. I don’t understand why ICE would threaten to drug Andy so he couldn’t fight his deportation. Please grant deferred action for the Mathe Family.”