SURJ friends and colleagues,

As some of you know, through my participation with the SURJ Immigration Working Group and the wonderful work of this group in seeking and training asylum sponsors and accompaniment teams, I have joined a team committed to sponsor a trans woman who is seeking asylum. Her name is Kelly and she has been held in detention for two years, longer than any other trans woman. She is only 23 years old and has been through violence, exploitation, and solitary confinement.  The sponsors and accompaniment team have been meeting regularly for two months and are prepared to receive Kelly in Oakland, offer her a home, and provide the support she needs to build a life here.

ICE has no reason to hold Kelly. We need your help in demanding that they release her on parole immediately! TransLatin@ Coalition and the National Immigrant Justice Center have called for a Week of Action to Free Kelly. Here is what we need folks to do:

1)    TUESDAY and beyond: Call ICE Field Office Director Corey Price at (915) 856-5510 and ask him to use his discretion to release Kelly immediately

2)    WEDNESDAY and anytime: Tweet at @ICEgov all day to #FreeKelly, and post extra tweets during the Twitter storm from 11am-1pm PT

3)    Anytime: Sign and share the petition at

4)    Anytime: Share this message on facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. Ask people to take all these actions there. Reach out to organizations you know and ask them to forward the messages to #FreeKelly.

Images for each day of the week of action are available at the bottom of this link:

Sample call script for ICE:

Hello, my name is _________ and I am calling you today to ask that you release Kelly Gonzalez Aguilar (A# 206-674-703) on parole. Kelly is a 23-year-old transgender woman who is being held at Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico. Kelly has been now been detained longer than two years and prior to being transferred to Cibola, she was put in solitary for long periods at a time. We need you to Free Kelly to her strong and supportive community on the outside NOW. Thank you for your time.

Sample tweets:

Tell @ICEgov to #FreeKelly! She is seeking asylum and should not still be locked up.

@ICEgov is STILL detaining Kelly! Join us for the week of action to #FreeKelly in time for the holidays!

Call @ICEgov at (915) 856-5510 and tell them to #FreeKelly immediately!

Sign the petition to demand that @ICEgov #FreeKelly from the detention center.

See @NIJC for tweets to retweet. On facebook, look for National Immigrant Justice Center.

If you want to take further action, please email Jessica Lehman, one of the team leaders,  (, who is coordinating potential further tactics include flyering in Oakland or San Francisco, reaching out to legislators, and/or planning another local action.

Please take at least one action – whatever feels right for you. If possible, send an email to Jessica or myself to let us know, so we can keep building momentum. Together, we will #FreeKelly!

With gratitude and in solidarity,

Steve Kanofsky