Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2018

Father of 15-year-old boy in MP will return home after immigration raid in May

Urizar ordered to be released with conditions
Jun 22, 2018

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Elmer Urizar, also referred to as Uriza, will be released from detention after spending over a month in jail following his arrest by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials from MPC Enterprises in May.

Urizar will be joining his 15-year-old son, Walfred Uriza, who was left parentless while his father was being detained, back in Mt. Pleasant contingent on the conditions of Urizar’s release, according to court documents signed by Judge Stephen Jackson on June 19 following a June 8 hearing.

Urizar was one of 32 men arrested by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from MPC Enterprises in Mt. Pleasant on May 9. Three of the men have been deported, six are detained and 23 have been released.

The judge presiding over Urizar’s case cited Urizar’s long-term ties to the Mt. Pleasant area as an incentive for Urizar to stay in the community upon his release. The judge wrote that Urizar’s foundation to the community is demonstrated in the “impressive letters of support” written on Urizar’s behalf. The reference letters were written by community leaders such as Trey Hegar, pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant; David Suarez, Bilingual Community Development Manager at Community Credit Union; and many of Urizar’s son’s teachers and coaches.

“That support came because they are great people and the teachers and community who know them see that they are a great family trying to make the best for themselves,” said Tracy Shull, with Iowa Welcomes Immigrant Neighbors (Iowa WINS). “It’s a real blessing he is being released. I am so happy for Wilfred that his dad is going to be with him. That is very good news.”

People in the community, including Kay Young, who Walfred has been staying with since June 9, are being vetted to act as third party custodians for Urizar upon his release. The custodian must be a non-relative who will communicate with a probation officer.

According to documents, the court was considering Sandy Carrillo’s residence for Urizar and Walfred, who may have also housed Walfred at some point during Urizar’s detention. Urizar’s release is also contingent on GPS electronic monitoring and home detention.

Urizar was being held on criminal charges as a second time offender. Urizar was ordered from the U.S. on Jan. 18, 2014 by an immigration official in Texas. He was removed on Jan. 22, 2014. Urizar had not submitted a request to re-enter the U.S.

Urizar poses no threat to the community and has no other criminal record. He made his initial appearance in court on June 4 and was charged with illegal re-entry into the U.S.

Walfred is currently seeking asylum in the U.S. from gang violence he experienced in his home country of Guatemala. Urizar brought Walfred to the U.S. to escape that violence. The Urizar family could only afford one application for asylum at this time.

The father and son have been living in Mt. Pleasant for the past four years. Wilfred’s mother remains in Guatemala.

The court noted the significant community support at Urizar’s hearing, with many friends, family and community members in the audience.

“We still have other families that are separated,” Shull said in the midst of celebrating the news of Urizar’s release. “We’ve got some focus and attention that still needs to be on them because we have children without their fathers and we want to continue to support them.”

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