In the United States, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detain 400,000 immigrants each year, many in the Los Angeles area. One of these immigrants who went through deportation proceedings and was recently released after being held for a little over three years is counting his lucky stars that he is once again free to live his life in this country.
The 69-year-old came to the United States legally from Bolivia when he was just 18 years old. He had legal permanent resident status and could have applied to be a citizen. He just never got around to it, something that he says he now regrets.
About a decade after he entered the country, the man was arrested and convicted for non-violent misdemeanors. He ran into trouble in 2008 when an immigration judge took away his legal status and sentenced him to deportation back to Bolivia.
He eventually traveled back to the U.S. border and requested that his permanent resident status be restored. He decided to do this after authorities at the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia told him he never should have been deported in the first place. He was allowed back into the U.S., but was sent to a detention center in December of 2009. The lawyers who took on his case called his deportation a gross miscarriage of justice.
The man was finally released two months ago under an order of supervision. He said he felt relief and actually cried when it happened.
If you or a loved one is facing deportation, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney who can help you with your case.
Source: USA Today, “Immigrant caught in the middle of national debate,” Daniel Gonzalez, April 15, 2013