On Tuesday, May 14, the May prayer vigil will be held at the U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Paul, where oral arguments in Nelson’s legal case will take place at 9am. There will be no ICOM vigil at the Whipple Building in May. This vigil will begin at 7:30am and last until 12:30PM. Because we need to have a constant presence during that entire time, we are asking all solidarity groups to sign up to be present for 1 hour blocks of time beginning at 9am.
Nelson Pinos, 43, came to the United States as a teenager from Ecuador, seeking a better life and work opportunities. But, for more than 500 days, he has not left the First and Summerfield Methodist Church, a “Sanctuary” church in New Haven, Connecticut.
In 1993, Nelson was detained while visiting friends in Minneapolis but he was released and ever since then, immigration officials have been processing him for deportation. A deportation order was even issued but Nelson didn’t find out until two decades later, long after he had returned to his home in New York and started a family. Nelson has never appeared in court and his case has been filled with many legal twists and turns. Then in February, his case was selected for oral hearing before the 8 Circuit Court of Appeals on May 14 at 9:00 am in St. Paul. Nelson deserves to be heard and not deported and separated from his family.