Original Post

We want Miguel back!

Miguel Angel Duran Peña came to the United States to escape the violence and hatred of war in El Salvador. He applied for political asylum, but was denied. He has been living in a homeless shelter and making art at the StreetLife Gallery, "home of homeless art" -- where we value and love him. Miguel helps to run the self-managed Gallery; he welcomes new artists; he translates between the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking artists; he helps teach an English course to the Spanish-speaking artists and he teaches Spanish to the English-speaking artists.

And he does art that makes you glad to breathe.

Miguel is as helpful and valuable at his self-managed shelter as he is at the Gallery.

Miguel was arrested a week ago and is being held pending trial and possible deportation as an illegal alien. To send any man to certain death would be appalling; to waste a valuable potential citizen like Miguel is plain stupid. To deny him visits or communication with any of his friends, as is being done now, is unjust. Miguel has been in jail a week and still has no court date; he cannot get out on bail because neither he nor his friends have enough money.
Please help Miguel. We need him. Help us get him back.

He has unfinished work.

Miguel's case number is #25823; however, we are occasionally told that there is no such case number and no such person in jail. The Administrator of Detention is Bill Paul: his number is (206) 467-6030.

Among the people working to help Miguel are:
Marta Lemberg (206) 784-8363
Candace Hegeman (206) 781-6885
Real Change (206) 441-3247
StreetLife Gallery (206) 443-1546

Miguel is a valuable person. It is not only unjust to treat him like this, and to send him back to El Salvador; it is a criminal waste.

We are sad to report

Miguel has been deported to El Salvador.

We, the artists and friends of StreetLife Gallery and our friends of the October 22nd Coalition, plan to keep this webpage up as a reminder of the precarious rights of all immigrants in the United States. We have started a forum for the discussion of immigrant rights in the United States, and how to improve them. Please join in the forum.