On June 6th, 2019, John Bing III aka Sota aka Sota Smoov was arrested and detained by ICE. Sota is a loving husband, father and friend who is a pillar in our community.
Please consider donating to this GoFund for funds to go towards: immigration legal fees, jail commissary, and support his wife and their 3 young children. We have less than 90 days to reach our goal. Help us to fight for Sota to stay in Minnesota with his family.
Below is Sota’s story.
John Bing III was born in Monrovia, Liberia in 1984. John’s birth rendered his mother extremely ill. While she lay in a hospital in Liberia, a civil war broke out. His grandfather was killed. His grandmother and father packed up the infant Bing and fled to Washington D.C., then Columbus, Ohio, where he lived until he got a call that would change his life.
It came from Minnesota, and his mother was on the other end. She was alive and living in Minneapolis.
He became so connected to his mom and to this place that he now goes by the name “Sota.” His paperwork had not been able to be completed.
Today, Sota faces deportation to a country he doesn’t know. Minnesota is the only home that Sota knows. Together with his wife Mixie thay have three children: a 4-month old, and a 3 and a 4 year old. Sota works 9am – 5pm, five-six days a week and is the sole income provider for their family.
Sota’s current detention and possible deportation will have devastating emotional and financial consequences to his family. We are also concerned that his incarceration will exacerbate his untreated mental health trauma.
Sota is an active community member, a cook and artist who traverses social circles. He has performed on nearly every stage in the Twin Cities, gracing countless people with his passionate and undeniably authentic musical expression.
Sota is also a devout Christian, cleans his church every Saturday, attends church every Sunday, plays guitar and sings in the church band.
We appreciate the immense support and love from our community here in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. Please share this with your community and consider donating what you can. Thank you!
Below are expenses that we are fundraising toward:
Retain a lawyer for Sota. So far all quotes we have received are over $3000. Once he appears before a judge, we will know if and what his bond for release will be.
– commissary cards, which require consistent updating for us to keep in direct contact with John, and so he may buy basic amenities while incarcerated
– child care for their 3 children
– daily nourishment for the family
– car insurance bills and gas for transportation
– vehicle repairs
– Sota and his wife have also been seeking new living arrangements in order to leave their current situation which is not an ideal space for them to raise their family. We are raising funds to put down a security deposit and first few months of rent at a new living space.
Please also be sure to SIGN THE PETITION!
– Team #FREESOTA