Photo: Probation for Immigrant Advocate for Disrupting Congressional Hearing
The Rev. Jose Landaverde, one of Chicago’s most prominent immigrants’ rights activists, will have to remain aloof from protests for the next six months as a condition for avoiding a jail term, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled on Tuesday.
“I will have to keep myself to the margin of problems in whatever location in the United States. If not, I can be put in jail,” Landaverde told Efe in a telephone interview.
The Salvadoran-born pastor risked a prison term of up to six months for interrupting a Feb. 11 congressional hearing where Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified.
Landaverde, who was at the hearing with 11 other activists, shouted “devil” at Napolitano, who has presided over a record number of deportations.
The judge hearing the case agreed to the request of the defense attorney that the activist be given a six-month probation term, Landaverde told Efe.
“I must not be arrested for anything and I’ll have to respect the restriction order that they gave me not to come near the Capitol,” he said.
Landaverde, a veteran of confrontations with police and immigration agents during acts of civil disobedience in Chicago, said of the struggle in favor of undocumented immigration that “other members of my church will continue it.”
“But I, perhaps, should leave Chicago for a time so I don’t get myself into trouble,” he said.
At the next court hearing, scheduled for Sept. 23, the federal judge will examine Landaverde’s conduct during the probation period and could rule the case closed.
The pastor is the chief religious official at Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission in Chicago’s mainly Mexican Little Village neighborhood, which provides a wide range of services to a flock that includes undocumented immigrants.