John Ferron was born in Jamaica, but came to the United States as a young boy at age 14. He served in the Vietnam War for the United States Navy, and he was honorably discharged. Due to a massive combat-related injury, John suffers from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depression, Chaotic Mental Illness, and Suicidal Tendencies.
Although he has made mistakes in his past that he regrets, John has turned his life around. Before being detained in immigration custody on October 5, 2010, he was a Christian Minister and the proud father of eight U.S. citizen children. Today, he languishes inside of the Eloy Detention Center, a privately-run immigration detention center in Arizona. He is unable to see his children, let alone hug them and let them know how much he loves them. Due to exorbitant phone call rates, he is not even able to call them.
“I miss my family,” said John. “My son is now fighting in Afghanistan in the U.S. Army, and my wife served with honor in Desert Storm. After I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, I went to work for the Department of the Navy as a civilian with pay grade GS5 for ten years. I received a letter from the Department for working for the federal government for 10 years.”
John is fighting for U.S. citizenship before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Although he has no attorney representing him before the Ninth Circuit, he has a community of support on the outside. Marjorie King, a CIVIC visitor volunteer with the Restoration Project in Arizona, has been visiting with John for over a year.
CIVIC stands beside John Ferron. While his suffering may be invisible to the American public, we want him to know that he is not forgotten. He is a U.S. veteran, and we believe he is a U.S. citizen. Above all, he is a person with dignity that deserves better than detention.
John Ferron in the News
Detained U.S. Veteran on Hunger Strike at Eloy Detention Center, Huffington Post, July 2013.
Detained Veteran Goes on Hunger Strike to Fight Deportation, Arizona Republic, July 2013.
Undocumented Vietnam War Veteran Protests His Deportation with a Hunger Strike, Think Progress, July 2013.
Vet on Hunger Strike Over Deportation Threat, Military.com News, July 2013.
Imprisoned U.S. Navy Vet Fights Deportation, CBS News, August 2013.
A Veteran Goes on Hunger Strike to Protest Deportation, tu Decides, August 2013.