Tweet at Cuomo: Pardon Shakoure

80+ organizations, faith leaders, and community leaders have signed on to a letter to NY Gov. Andrew  Cuomo, demanding he pardons Pascal "Shakoure" Charpentier before the holidays. Today, we're asking you to tweet at Gov. Cuomo and amplify the demand. 

Together, we can put enough pressure on Cuomo and vbring Shakoure back to his family and the community that loves him.

Here is Shakoure's story and the details of his case—a perfect example of the anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, and xenophobia of our carceral system:

On July 6th, 2020, ICE officers showed up at Pascal Shakoure Charpentier’s door and arrested him. Despite being a U.S. citizen born on a U.S. Army base, he's been imprisoned by ICE because of a former conviction.

Shakoure is a Black Muslim youth mentor, business owner, friend, son, and brother from Queens. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is currently willfully withholding vital documents about Shakoure's U.S. citizenship from the court that could set him free.

Shakoure was detained as a result of Trump's "Enhancing Public Safety" Executive Order, which expands the priority list of people subject to deportation to include anyone who has ever “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.” [1]

Shakoure's case illustrates the compounding effects of anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, and xenophobia in our carceral system. The felony that triggered Shakoure’s arrest is more than 30 years old and he has already served 24.5 years of prison time for it. DHS's withholding of documents that could prove Shakoure's citizenship highlight yet again that ICE's motivations aren't rooted in much more than anti-Black Islamophobia.

No one should have to go through this fight. Especially not from a jail cell while COVID-19 continues ravaging jails and prisons across the country—including inside N.J. County jails, which had the first reported case of COVID-19 in the country. [2] 

These conditions pose a catastrophic public health risk that continue to violate Shakoure's and all imprisoned people's human rights.

On November 5th, Judge Charles Conroy insisted that DHS produce vital immigration documents. As of November 10th, most of the documents have still not been turned over to Shakoure’s attorney. If Shakoure is judged to not have U. S. citizenship at his next court hearing on Nov. 12th, he might be deported to a country where he has never lived and has no present family ties.

However, if Gov. Andrew Cuomo grants Shakoure clemency, all the court proceedings could end and Shakoure could be freed. Gov. Cuomo has previously issued clemency to stop this type of double punishment before. We ask that he do it again so we can #FreeShakoure.

Let’s show up for him as hard as he has shown up for his community and make our voices heard: Shakoure’s community wants him home.

Join MPower Change, the New Sanctuary Coalition, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Freedom to Thrive, CAIR NY, African Communities Together (ACT) and 80+ more organizations:  Tweet at Gov. Cuomo and demand clemency for Shakoure NOW. 

1. Trump’s Immigration Executive Order Is A Blueprint For Mass Deportation, HuffPost,  Jan 27, 2017
2. '"A Ticking Time Bomb': Advocates Warn COVID-19 Is Spreading Rapidly Behind Bars," NPR, 28 April, 2020

Art credit: @tommyevich

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MPower Change logo with the text: Muslim Grassroots MovementFreedom to Thrive logoBAJI logo with the text: Black Alliance for Just ImmigrationCair New York logo New Sanctuary Coalition logo with the text: Providing Sanctuary Since 2007African Communities Together logo

Tweet at Cuomo: Pardon Shakoure

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