WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
What: The National Press Club and its non-profit affiliate arm the National Press Club Journalism Institute, will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. today to discuss developments in the case of Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez. Gutierrez, who in October accepted the NPC Press Freedom Award on behalf of Mexico's journalists, now is confined to the El Paso Detention Center while his asylum case is under consideration by the Board of Immigration Appeals. The Press Club has asked for his release but Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have denied the request.
When: Friday, January 19, 2 p.m.
Where: National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW
13th Floor, First Amendment Lounge
Who: Officers and staff of the National Press Club and the NPCJI, as well as Attorney Eduardo Beckett (pro bono for Emilio Gutierrez)
Background: Emilio Gutierrez is the 2017 recipient of the National Press Club's John Aubuchon Award for Press Freedom. He received death threats as a result of his reports on corruption in the military and fled to the United States in 2008, requesting asylum as he and his then-15-year-old son, Oscar, came through the port of entry. After seven months in detention (during which time they were separated), the father and son were released into the community while they awaited adjudication of their asylum case.
Nine years later, an El Paso immigration judge ruled against the asylum case. While lawyers for the Gutierrezes prepared an appeal, ICE tried to deport them to Mexico, now the most dangerous country in the Western hemisphere for journalists. An emergency stay by the Board of Immigration Appeals stopped the deportation. The BIA has since extended that stay to allow for a full review of Emilio Gutierrez's asylum case but ICE refuses to release him citing President Donald Trump's order to prioritize deportations of immigrants. The El Paso ICE director is using an incident that happened over 18 years ago to insinuate that Emilio Gutierrez only came to the U.S. to seek employment and live in the U.S. His attorney believes that this reported incident has been misrepresented by DHS, and is ultimately irrelevant to his asylum claim. Details will be presented at the press conference.
The Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle and dozens of professional journalism organizations are supporting the National Press Club's call for the Gutierrezes' release. Nearly 90,000 people have signed the NPC's #FreeEmilio petition at Change.org.
SOURCE National Press Club