FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — After being arrested in connection with downtown Fort Wayne protests, Jorge Oliva has been released on bond but believes there is still work to be done.
“I wouldn't change anything I went through these past couple weeks,” Oliva said. “If I have to redo it, I will redo it for everybody again.”
Dozens gathered at the steps of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office today who believe the work Fort Wayne city leaders are doing to unite the community has not been enough.
“Today we call upon every elected official from the city and county to meet with Faith in Allen County in the next week,” said Paula Avila, Hispanic Leadership Coalition of Northeast Indiana president. “To sit down and actually have conversations with team leaders of black and brown families.”
Oliva said he wants to work with city leaders and law enforcement leading up to his federal hearing in August.
He said he plans to spend the upcoming weeks advocating for his citizenship in the United States, adding it is the only home he has ever known.
“If you deport me, you are ultimately sending me to my death,” Oliva said. “I do not know how to read Spanish like that, and I can barely write Spanish. I do speak Spanish, but as you can tell it is hard for me to translate some words.”
Faith in Indiana is challenging Fort Wayne community members to share stories of times they felt their voices weren’t heard.
“Why did I protest? Like I said I’m a sacrificial pawn,” Oliva said. “If I have to use my case to give people strength and courage to speak up I'll do it all over again.”