Jeancarlo Alfonso Jimenez-Joseph, “Jean,” was born in Panama on April 20, 1990. After immigrating to the United States, Jean and his family settled in Kansas, where he attended school and dreamed of becoming an architect.
Jean had a loving and gentle spirit, and from an early age was bursting with energy, ideas, and contagious enthusiasm. His larger-than-life personality and charisma made him an instant friend to many. Jean cherished his family and God above all else.
Jean was at once all-American and a proud immigrant. Like so many, Jean faced an uncertain future because of his immigration status. After benefiting from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), Jean studied architecture at community college for two years, sharpened his talents as a visual artist, and dabbled in music. Tragically, Jean began to experience symptoms of mental illness, and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Following several misdemeanor charges in North Carolina, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) quickly arrested and transferred Jean to CoreCivic’s privately-run Stewart Detention Facility. Jean was never given the opportunity to ask for release on bond before being sent to the notoriously brutal immigrant detention facility in Lumpkin, Georgia.
Deprived of appropriate mental health care, Jean languished in Stewart despite repeated attempts by his family to obtain the help he needed. After being beaten by another detainee and attempting to take his own life, Jean was sent to solitary confinement. On May 15, 2017, after enduring 19 days with little-to-no human contact, Jean ended his life.
DDLN honors Jean’s life and legacy by providing free legal representation in immigration bond hearings to people detained by ICE who cannot afford an attorney. Jean’s death was tragic, unjust, and preventable. At its core, DDLN aims to ensure that no immigrant suffer prolonged and unnecessary confinement and that no family ever endure the loss of a loved one to a broken and cruel immigrant detention system. We proudly dedicate these efforts to the memory of Jean Jimenez-Joseph.