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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” – Paulo Freire, Educator

Stop Felipe Montes From Permanently Losing His Rights To His Children

Here's the message we sent to our members. After you've read it, please add your voice.

Watch the Video

Click below to keep Felipe from being permanently separated from his children

Dear Friend,

We have one week to act before Felipe could lose the right to his children forever. Felipe Montes was deported to Mexico about a year ago. He was deported away from his wife and three children, the four of whom are U.S. Citizens. Now the North Carolina Division of Social Services (DSS) wants to take his kids away from him forever, claiming that he has no rights to his children because he is a deported immigrant. We only have one week before they petition to strip away Felipe’s parental rights in court.

Help us pressure DSS to drop the case against Felipe. DSS is acting in court to legally separate Felipe from his children, and if enough of us speak out, we may be able to stop this.

VIDEO: Sign the petition to keep Felipe's family together:

Felipe was the sole breadwinner of his family. After he was deported last year, they removed his children from his wife’s custody after she fell into such hard times that they said she was unable to care for them. Now, Allegheny County’s DSS in North Carolina is planning to ask a judge to let them terminate Felipe’s parental rights and put his children up for adoption.

"The day of my detention was the saddest day of my life,” Felipe told us from Mexico. “I took my kids to daycare at 8 in the morning. I woke them up like always. I changed them. I fixed some things for them to take to daycare. I got detained, and they took me to another state. Without being able to say anything to my wife. Without seeing my children even one more time."

This is an outrageous assault on the rights of children and parents. Sadly, Felipe is just one of thousands of parents who are having their children snatched from them by a broken immigration system and a patchwork of local child welfare departments. According to a recent report from the Applied Research Center1, there are over 5,000 children currently in foster care who had their parents deported. In the next five years, another 15,000 could be separated from their parents forever unless we do something.

In the next week, we have a chance to prevent at least three of those children from being separated from their parents and possibly spark enough controversy to keep this from happening again.

Please sign this petition to tell North Carolina’s DSS to keep Felipe’s family together

Thanks and ¡adelante!
Arturo, Laurie, Favianna and the rest of the Presente.org team


1. "Shattered Families" Report. Applied Research Center.