In 2018, Jean Montrevil was deported to Haiti, almost two decades after he was arrested on federal drug charges in Virginia at the age of 21.

Three years later, on August 24, 2021, Ralph Northam, Virginia’s governor pardoned Montrevil. Supporters gathered at Judson Memorial Church, in Manhattan, to demand that the Department of Homeland Security allow Montrevil to return to the US. His family, including his 4 children, who live in New York.

The prayer vigil and march was organized by Judson Memorial Church, the Judson Immigration Task Force and the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic.

Montrevil’s deportation took place when he was in his late 40s, after he began speaking out for immigrant rights. Supporters believe he was deported in retaliation for his activism work.

Jania Heard and Jahsiah Montrevil marched at the rally demanding their father Jean Montrevil be allowed to return from Haiti.

Leonardo March is Brooklyn-based visual journalist from Puerto Rico and a Report for America corps member

Leonardo can be reached at

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