Asian American and domestic violence advocacy groups from across the country are coming together for a National Day of Action for Nan-Hui Jo on June 10 to show support for undocumented single mom and domestic violence survivor Nan-Hui Jo and to demand Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) release Jo immediately. Supporters are making their push with emails, phone calls, faxes, and social media posts with the hashtag #StandWithNanHui.
Jo was convicted of child abduction charges after she fled with her daughter to South Korea in order to escape the alleged physical and emotional abuse of her then-partner and child's father, Jesse Charlton, and because her visa to stay in the United States had expired. After a long, closely watched trial, charges were reduced to misdemeanor, and she was sentenced to time served. However, upon release, she was immediately detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Jo has been separated from her now-six-year-old daughter for eleven months, who remains in the care of Charlton.
“Ms. Jo’s detention shows ICE’s complete lack of understanding of domestic violence and is a total waste of government resources.” Jo’s attorney, Amalia Wille, told NBC News. “Ms. Jo has several applications for lawful immigration status pending based on the domestic abuse she has experienced, and ICE should immediately release her, as it does with the vast majority of foreign nationals awaiting decisions on their cases.”
Despite Jo’s multiple pending immigration applications, including a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petition, she remains incarcerated by ICE. If deported, she could be separated from her daughter, who is a US citizen, indefinitely.
In Los Angeles, Jo supporters are also joining forces with supporters of Rosa Martinez Duarte, another undocumented mother and domestic violence survivor who is also facing possible deportation by ICE. Martinez has four US citizen children, is eligible for a UVisa, and is being detained in the same facility as Jo.
A request to ICE officials for comment was unanswered.