A Montana man became a social media sensation this week after quitting his job in the state’s labor department rather than handle paperwork that he said could lead to the arrest of undocumented immigrants.
“There were going to be subpoenas for information that would end up being used to hunt down & deport undocumented workers,” Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts wrote on Twitter Wednesday, adding:
It would have been my responsibility to prepare the information and hand them off to ICE.— Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts (@dyrbert) February 8, 2018
I refuse to aid in the breaking up of families. I refuse to just “follow orders.”
This isn’t an easy decision as it puts me in a delicate financial position.
Dyrdahl-Roberts, a legal secretary with the department since 2011, was told on Tuesday that he should help process subpoena requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Independent Record reported.
“I immediately said, ‘I don’t think I can help with that,’” he told the newspaper. “I began talking with management about what the deal was, but I pretty much understood at that point.”
The agency reportedly offered to relocate Dyrdahl-Roberts to another position in the department, but it appears he declined.
“The department is in communication with Jordon and it’s our understanding his decision to resign is purely based on his personal opposition to the federal administration’s rhetoric on immigration,” spokesman Jake Troyer told NBC station KULR. “Jordon’s involvement in the process of responding to subpoenas was limited to assisting attorneys with processing requests.”
Carl Rusnok, regional director of communications for ICE, told the Great Falls Tribune that the agency “routinely subpoenas other local, state and federal agencies and private companies for information in furtherance of ongoing investigations.”
He declined to comment on the specifics.
“I’m drawing my line in the sand here,” Dyrdahl-Roberts wrote on Twitter. “Cooperation with this regime is not acceptable.”
Dyrdahl-Roberts was initially accepting donations to help him support his family as he looked for a new job, but later said he had received enough. Instead, he encouraged supporters to consider donating to the people of Puerto Rico or Flint, Michigan.
People have asked why am I doing this if I have a child.— Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts (@dyrbert) February 8, 2018
I’m doing this because I have a child.
I want to be able to look my child in eye.
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