Hugo Mejia Murguia is a dedicated father of three children, a committed husband, and a proud union member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Local 83/District Council 16 for the last 4 years. Hugo and his family have been actively engaged in the community, regularly volunteering at their schools and through community organizations.

On Wednesday, May 3, 2017, Hugo showed up to work on a construction job at a hospital having no idea that it was on a military base, much less that he would be required to present a social security number. He presented his valid California-issued-Driver’s-License and his ITIN (individual taxpayer number) unaware this would cause the military to call ICE. He and another union brother, Rodrigo Nunez, were then apprehended at the Travis Air Force base for two hours before being transferred to an ICE detention facility.

Over a decade ago, Hugo received a “Removal Order” for entering the country, which triggered an expedited deportation process. Hugo has had a pending asylum case throughout this ordeal and is still behind bars as you’re reading this.

ICE has full discretion to release Hugo from custody while his asylum case is reviewed. There is no reason why Hugo and his family should be separated.

The IUPAT demands that ICE immediately release union brothers Hugo Mejia and Rodrigo Nunez while their cases are being reviewed and being determined so that they may reunite with their families in the United States.

Hugo is our union brother and we must stand strong with his family and community. Now is the time to flex some muscle and fight to get Hugo back to his family, his job, and his union!