AMERICAN HERO: State Employee Quits Job Rather Than Rat Out Undocumented Immigrants To ICE

On Wednesday, a now-former Montana Department of Labor and Industry employee named Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts chose unemployment over tyranny when he refused to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials hunt down and deport undocumented immigrants.

“So, yeah, about that. I put in my two weeks notice. I work at Montana Department of Labor. There were going to be ICE subpoenas for information that would end up being used to hunt down & deport undocumented workers,” Dyrdahl-Roberts tweeted Wednesday after quitting his job. “It would have been my responsibility to prepare the information and hand them off to ICE. 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’ was shocked to find that his original tweet has had over 14,000 retweets since he first shared the news.

“When I put it out on Twitter, I wasn’t expecting it to get the legs it did,” he told the Independent-Record.

The former state employee’s life changed suddenly on Tuesday when one of the attornies working in his office told him that he would soon help prepare ICE subpoenas.

So, “the only words my brain picked up were ‘subpoenas coming,’” he said. It wasn’t until Wednesday he realized who they were for.

“I immediately said, ‘I don’t think I can help with that,’” he recalled. “I began talking with management about what the deal was, but I pretty much understood at that point.”

However, his humanity would not allow him to assist with something that he knew with every fiber of his being was wrong. So Jordon called his wife to confide in her, saying that he didn’t think he could do what they are asking him to do. But without hesitation, his wife gave her blessing and with only $900 to his name, Jordon quit.

“The conversation was, ‘You understand this is part of your duties, and if you can’t execute your duties you have to quit or be fired.’ I put in my two week’s notice.”

In a statement, the Montana Department of Labor said that Jordon’s job was to assist state lawyers in processing the ICE documents.

“Jordon understood that such processing was a required part of his job,” said Jake Troyer, communications director for the department.”Jordon was offered assistance in finding another position with the department” and was not disciplined for his tweet.

Jordon could not imagine the national attention his modest tweet would bring him, as news from his home state is often little more than an afterthought across the rest of the nation.

“There’s a lot going on nationally with the direction of the government as a whole that’s pretty scary for people who are plugged in and paying attention,” he said. “When I was asked to collaborate (by working on the ICE subpoena), I couldn’t.”

Now keep in mind that Jordon’s family isn’t wealthy. He had no savings or wealthy parents to fall back on. On Twitter, he explained that he had a toddler at home and an “underemployed wife in graduate school.”

Also wasn’t an immigrant nor did he come a family of recent immigrants. It seemed as if random chance brought his life to one decisive moment that may well end up in future U.S. history books. Jordon explained that he was “empathetic,” to the plight of those who would suffer should he have cooperated with ICE.

“The way I was raised led me to question authority, like asking, ‘Is this right?’” he said. He grew up believing that “just because the person in a position of authority says something doesn’t necessarily make it true.”

And while he said that he was passionate and genuinely enjoyed his work, Jordon knew there was no way he could stay on board after the subpoenas.

“I’ve got a fairly low-down-the-ladder job,” he confessed. “I don’t have the ability to affect policy. It wouldn’t be my choice to make this into a fight. I just had to make a decision for my life.”

Meanwhile, Jordon has since sent out a public request for assistance with grocery money while he begins his uncertain search for new employment. And while he didn’t specify precisely how much he’s managed to raise, he did express his sincerest gratitude to those who’ve come his family’s aid.

“I’m humbled,” he said. “I had just over a thousand followers (on Twitter) before this started. I thought some people would kick some cash our way (and) it would be like a week’s worth of groceries that would give us a bit more time for me to find a job.”

“You’ve helped us more than enough,” he tweeted to his followers Thursday. “We will now be okay while we look for jobs. If you’re still feeling generous consider sending money (to) Flint or Puerto Rico.”

Unlike Donald Trump and his disgusting family, Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts is a real example of what it means to be an American hero, which is someone willing to sacrifice to do what’s right no matter the costs.

Just imagine quitting from a safe, stable government position and putting your family through a future filled with uncertain financial distress so that you could continue to look yourself in the mirror?

Let’s hope he finds meaningful work soon.

And who knows? Like Rosa Parks, maybe one day the world will be celebrating this man’s relatively modest moral stand against a seemingly insurmountable wave of government-funded bigotry, injustice, and hate.

If you’d like to help Jordon financially, here’s the link to do so.

Featured image via Twitter

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