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Vol. 73/No. 2      January 19, 2009

(front page)
New Jersey unionist released
from jail, fights deportation
Militant/Mike Fitzsimmons
Moisés Mory being interviewed by Militant correspondents in New Jersey this month.

NEWARK, New Jersey—Moisés Mory, a Peruvian immigrant fighting deportation, was released on parole from Hudson County Jail on January 2, after four and a half years of detention. He still faces the threat of deportation by the government.

A resident of the United States for almost three decades, Mory, 53, filed for permanent residency in 1984. But in 1999 the immigration cops began their efforts to deport him based on a 1986 misdemeanor conviction. Jailed for a year in 1999, he eventually won his release when an immigration judge dropped the deportation proceedings.

But immigration authorities continued their efforts against him, and he was arrested again in May 2004. At that time Mory was president of Local 13742 of the United Steelworkers of America and a machine operator at a plastics factory in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

In an interview with the Militant two days after his release, Mory stated that he had become a “headache” for the immigration authorities. Despite their attempts to break his spirit and force him to accept deportation, “they couldn’t stop me. I became a problem for them,” he said.

Throughout his imprisonment, Mory refused to accept the many arbitrary acts committed against him, filing a steady stream of lawsuits and complaints to protest every violation of his rights. Especially annoying to the immigration cops, Mory said, was his work with other detainees helping them do the same.

Moreover, Mory said, another factor was “the pressure” the immigration authorities felt as a result of the ongoing support for his fight, which was covered in a number of Spanish-language newspapers.

Mory told the Militant that his program of political reading while in prison helped him maintain his perspective. He was especially inspired by reading Nelson Mandela’s dignified speeches in the courtrooms of apartheid South Africa, and sought to model his own conduct on that.

Still under a deportation order, Mory reiterated his determination to fight to remain in the United States together with his wife Ruth, a U.S. citizen. Expressing gratitude to everyone who helped win his release, Mory is preparing for the next stage in the battle.
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