One of the city’s top bartenders, JP Caceres, has spent the past month in a U.S. Immigration detention center in Farmville, Va., and is set to be deported to his native Bolivia in the next three to six weeks, according to a crowdfunding campaign started by family and friends to help with his legal fees. (PoPville first noted Operation Free JP.)
Caceres, who recently consulted on the cocktail menus at Del Campo and MXDC, is not a U.S. citizen but first arrived in the U.S. with a work visa in 2001. That visa has expired, and Caceres has been trying to get citizenship since 2010, Operation Free JP explains in its plea. Caceres is also the owner of Let’s Imbibe Beverage Co. and the president of the D.C. chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild.
“No matter your views on our country’s immigration policy, we have created this page because we know your views on JP,” a message for the campaign reads. “JP is a fixture and a highlight on the Washington, DC social scene. His smile lights up a room, his laugh fills the entire building, and his unparalleled cocktails set the night on fire. As his friends and family, we are soliciting your help to ‘free JP.'”
So far, the campaign to help Caceres has raised $11,634, which will go directly to his attorney.
Y&H has reached the organizers of the group and trying to get in touch with Caceres’ lawyer, and we’ll update when we have more info.