Jesuit priests Rogelio Cruz and Regino Martinez Breton were delayed by US Immigration officials at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport over the weekend. Father Rogelio, assigned to a rural parish in the province of San Francisco de Macoris, was detained for two hours and then released, but Father Regino, an outspoken critic of immigration abuses and human trafficking was held for 15 hours and threatened with deportation before being released.
Both priests were on their way to take part in a forum organized by other Jesuits and numerous Hispanic immigration activists. The highlight of the event was a benefit concert with the Camino de Emaus Foundation.
According to numerous sources, calls were made to NY Congressman Charles Rangel and other officials to help secure Father Regino’s release. Regino is considered Dominican Republic’s most radical priest as a result of his staunch defense of Haitian migrants and his leadership role in the Center for Immigrant Solidarity. After being held for 15 hours Regino was released and allowed to proceed on to New York.