For Immediate Release

Media Contact

Sergio Tabora
Cell: (910) 584-3318 or (919) 559-4232

Benson Pastor and Community Leader Detained Despite Medical Condition, Facing Deportation
Vigil Planned for this Evening

Benson, NC – Pastor Jose Armando Siliezar-Sevilla, leader of the Ministerio Internacional El Verbo en Accion, and father of a 15-year-old U.S. citizen is detained at Mecklenburg County Jail charged with having lied on an application for adjustment of his immigration status. But Pastor Jose Armando was only doing what his attorney advised him, without questioning him. The family last heard from Pastor Jose Armando 3 weeks ago. He was diagnosed with diabetes after a wound on his foot got infected while in detention. The Benson community, his church, and family and friends are calling for the release of Pastor Jose Armando as he needs treatment not detention.

On June 3rd, 2014 immigration officers knocked on his door at 6 in the morning and handcuffed him in the presence of his family, including his US citizen son Jozmar who is depressed since the detention of his father.

A community vigil is planned for this evening.

What: Vigil and rally

Where: The Grove Park

Address: 406 E. Main St. Benson, NC

Time: 7 pm

We invite members of the press to join us and interview Pastor Jose Armando’s family.

Pastor Jose Armando first came to the United States in 1989 looking for a better life and settled in California. There he worked as a construction worker but the money wasn’t enough to pay the bills. Desperate to make ends meet, he became involved in drug dealing. In 1993, he was charged and convicted of drug possession and served time for two and a half years. After completion of his time in state prison, he was deported to Mexico despite being a Honduran National. That same year, Armando returned to the United States with his mind set on a better life based on the word of God. For the past 17 years, Pastor Armando has been a religious mentor and beloved community leader in Benson, North Carolina.

For more information on Pastor Jose Armando’s case, visit the online petition at