OCCUPY FIGHTS FORECLOSURES AND MOURNS DEPORTED MOTHER WITH VIGIL Occupy LA’s Foreclosure Defense Group Holds Candlelight Vigil for Deportee after Foreclosure Fiasco
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact at OccupyFightsForeclosures at 310-912-3494 or OccupyFightsForeclosures@gmail.com
WHO: Occupy Fights Foreclosures joins the Cardenas Family and Community Leaders
WHAT: Candlelight vigil for deportation of Blanca Cardenas— a mother with a nursing child.
WHEN: Tuesday, March 5, 2012 at 5:00pm
WHERE: 5557 Elmer Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601
WHY: ICE wrongfully deported Blanca Cardenas after LAPD made a wrongful arrest during unlawful eviction on a fraudulently foreclosed home.
LOS ANGELES – Tuesday evening, Activists from Occupy Fights Foreclosures (OFF) will hold a candlelight vigil after canvassing the neighborhood for Blanca Cardenas,a recently deported North Hollywood nursing mother and homeowner, whose home activists believe Bank of America illegally foreclosed.
Last Wednesday members of Occupy Fights Foreclosure, a subcommittee from Occupy LA, went with other community leaders to petition Los Angeles City Council and the LAPD Police Commission to intervene in the case.
Wednesday, a week after her arrest, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported Mrs. Cardenas— a non-priority undocumented homeowner with no criminal background— to Mexico. Despite the fact that Cardenas’ youngest child is only 17 months old and a 14-year old son who are both U.S. Citizens, her husband is a U.S. citizen, she has been in this country for more than 15 years, she has been married for 9 years, and has owned a home for 8 years.
“It’s been devastating since they took her,” said Gerardo Quinones, Blanca’s husband. “She was deported with nothing but the clothes on her, she didn’t have money or anything else. She had every right to fight for her home and believed the authorities would protect her.”
Two Wednesdays ago, LAPD arrested Mrs. Cardenas while she defended her family home. The family disputes the foreclosures and eviction due to fraudulent paperwork filed by the banks and a pending federal bankruptcy which is supposed to protect homeowners from eviction.
Although the exact circumstances leading up to Mrs. Cardenas’ detention and ICE deportation remains unclear, it appears the inciting event ties to an investor named Mehrdad Farahmand from A to Z Development, who recently was the highest bidder for the property at an auction.
Apparently Farahmand initiated a citizen’s arrest and LAPD took Mrs. Cardenas into custody, even though the Sheriff’s Department has jurisdiction over evictions and civil matters.
Allegedly, a cell phone video recording of the arrested prompted the investigation into Cardenas’ immigration status. An unnamed witness said authorities at the Van Nuys jail investigated Mrs. Cardenas’ immigration status and turned her information over to immigration authorities because of the cell phone recording.
Advocates had visited with staff from U.S. Representative Howard Berman’s, Senator Barbara Boxer’s, and City Councilman Tony Cardenas’ offices in an attempt to stop the deportation but to no avail despite repeated attempts to intervene.
“We stand with Mrs. Cardenas and her family to fight for Blanca’s return,” said Carlos Marroquin, a homeowner advocate and Occupy activist, “We believe the foreclosure has been done in a wrongful way.”
Occupy activists rally in support of the Cardenas family less than three weeks after the SF County Recorder released an audit of foreclosures which shows legal violations and questionable activities on nearly all of the files. The audit shows that an estimated 99% of the foreclosures involve questionable activity, 84% of foreclosures involve clear violation of the law, and over 66% involve four or more violations from all the files they reviewed.
“Many of these actions, if not all of these actions, render many of these foreclosures invalid.” Phil Ting, San Francisco County Recorder.
Occupy activists call for a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until a full investigation is complete.
“Until a thorough investigation is conducted,” Marroquin said, “We call on the State of California to institute an indefinite moratorium on all foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions.”
Occupy Fights Foreclosures will join other Occupy groups throughout the state on Monday March 12 outside County Recorders’ offices to ask for similar audit of foreclosure procedures in Los Angeles and other Counties.
Invalid foreclosures can cause legal issues for investors of fraudulently foreclosed properties, such as Farahmand.
“An investor who buys a home that banks fraudulently foreclosed upon, also risks being implicated in the housing crime,” states Marroquin, “Buying stolen property doesn’t mean the property belongs to the highest bidder”.
Occupy Fights Foreclosure— an official subcommittee of Occupy LA – joins Hermandad Mexicana Panorama City, Buen Hogar Foundation, Familia De Blanca Cardenas, Dec 12 Coalition, and other community leaders in calling upon federal officials to return Blanca Cardenas back to her family in America.
These groups plan a massive protest Sunday, March 11, 2012 starting at LA Placita Olvera, then marching to the Federal Detention Center where ICE held Blanca before deporting her, and finally the group will march to MacArthur Park for a InterOccupy Southern California meet up, where dozens of Occupy group plan to meet.
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