Candlelight Vigil Set For Northern Westchester Custodian Detained By ICE, Facing Deportation

There will be a candlelight vigil for a popular custodian at a Westchester synagogue who is facing deportation to Mexico and separation from his wife and children.

<p>Armando Rojas</p>

Armando Rojas

Photo Credit: Contributed

A vigil has been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16 on the steps of Bet Torah in Mount Kisco on behalf of Armando Rojas, who worked as a custodian before being taken into custody by immigration authorities.

Organizers of the vigil said that the event is a “plea for Rojas, a Bet Torah employee of several years, to reenter the United States and be reunited with his wife and two sons. The agenda includes songs, letters from the community and public statements from local leaders and interfaith clergy. Children are encouraged to attend and bring signs expressing their love and support.”

This will be Rojas’ last attempt for asylum after he was taken into custody by ICE in February and deported to Mexico, where he hasn’t lived in three decades. Rojas has been attempting to obtain his freedom, though he remains in an upstate prison.

Organizers said that “Armando and his family are gravely concerned for his well-being if he is permanently deported. As one of the few people from his small town with direct ties to the United States – his sons are United States citizens – Armando received threatening calls after being deported. In the past, at least one member of his family was killed and they received negligible assistance from local law enforcement. His need for asylum cannot be overstated.”

Rabbi Brusso, who has led delegations to the Mexican border to help Armando, said, “Armando has lived in this country for three decades, has no criminal record, has a family and employment. Armando is a kind, gentle and hardworking man. We miss him and want him home. He is a part of our congregational family.”

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