Tuesday, March 17, over 200 people gathered on the pedestrian mall in Iowa City to call for Max's release from detention. The event was covered by all local press outlets. The march was led by youth from the community. Max's son, Anthony, shared his story, students and faculty from Iowa Mennonite School led the crowd in singing, "We Shall Not Be Silent," and, "Whom Shall I Fear." The peaceful demonstration appealed to government officials to have compassion and mercy on the Villatoro family and to see that no good can come from removing a father from a family's home. See pictures of this event at:
The strategy today is to continue making those calls to ICE offices in DC. Please call ICE today in Washington at 202-732-3000 or 888-351-4024. Tell them you are calling on them to stop the deportation of Mennonite pastor Max Villatoro of Iowa City (A# 094-338-085). Max is not a threat, he is a servant leader in the community and should be returned to his family and church.
Max was scheduled to be deported on Tuesday morning from a privately owned detention center in Alexandria, LA. Late Monday night, Max called his legal team to inform them that he had been moved to a minimum/medium prison in LaSalle, LA. We take this as a sign of hope, but he is not close to being out of the woods.
Bring Max Back!
Central Plains Pastor Max Villatoro was deported to Honduras on Friday, March 20 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Max and his wife Gloria are the pastors of Iglesia Torre Fuerte in Iowa City. Join us in prayer that Max can be reunited with his family and congregation, and join us in offering financial support to the Villatoro family.