NFL Players Post Bond to Free Immigrant in Detention

Map and passport

NFL players Josh Norman and Demario Davis helped bail out an immigrant who had been detained at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement center, Mesa Verde Detention Center in Bakersfield, California, since May. Jose Bello could not pay the $50,000 bail, until the NFL players and others posted bond for him to leave detention. A 22-year-old California farmworker who came to the U.S. when he was 3, Bello read a poem at a Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting in May that criticized the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrants. Two days after reading the poem, he was placed into ICE custody on an outstanding DUI charge.  

The Washington Post reports that Bello was freed on $50,000 bail, thanks to contributions from the New York Immigrant Freedom Fund, the National Bail Fund Network and two people he had seen on TV before — Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis.

Norman tweeted about Bello’s release,

“ICE is using detention and deportation as weapons to silence immigrant activists … The contributions we are making help support your fight for peace and sanctuary; we will continue until that work is done!”

Norman and Davis are both members of the Players Coalition, an independent task force of 12 members co-founded by former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin and Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins in 2017 that is dedicated to improving social justice and racial equality. Norman and Davis visited an immigrant respite center in McAllen, TX, to witness the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border firsthand in June. Norman made an $18,000 donation to the center afterward.

Bello said in a phone interview,

“To me, it seemed like a dream. It’s like something that you hear about in movies. I watch football, and I know how much attention and how famous those people are, so just the fact that they would look into helping me out, it was a great honor. I know who they are. I was shocked in a good way.”

Bello is free while his lawyers appeal his case.

United States immigration laws are complicated and updated frequently. Mistakes in immigration applications can be costly and stressful and can result in denial of your petition or delays. An Immigration Simplified attorney can review your 245(i) Green Card through adjustment of status eligibility and guide you through the application process. We review your situation, provide you with the proper forms and help you submit your application. Contact us today to get started. Please contact our office or call us at (312) 883-9944.

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