My husband, Manny, and his sister were brought to the United States by his father when he was four years old. He’s been a legal permanent resident of this country since then and if you met him you would never know he was from anywhere but the U.S.A.
This past January, Manny and I took a weekend cruise to the Bahamas. When we returned to the U.S. he was detained by immigration officials. A bad decision he made in his teenage years was in the immigration world considered a "crime of moral turpitude" and grounds for detainment and deportation.
The Miami Customs and Border Patrol released Manny to his home and scheduled a deferred hearing for April 11, 2013. Manny then returned to work and life with his family. On April 11th he made sure to show up at his hearing at BWI airport. There he was detained and is now in Worcester County detention center 3 hours from his wife and daughters. He is allowed only three 30 minute visits a week. All of this is because of a bad decision he made a decade ago when he was teenager.
Manny had very little parental support and guidance growing up. He had no support and was physically and mentally abused by his father. Growing up was not easy for Manny and as many teenagers do he got into trouble with friends. With a group of teenage friends, Manny tried to steal a golf cart at a local golf course. All of his friends got probation before trial, Manny the only non-citizen in the group served 6 months in jail for breaking and entering, and 4th degree burglary. When Manny was convicted he had no idea that this bad decision would affect his immigration status.
After this experience, Manny decided this was NOT what he wanted his life to be. He worked hard to turn his life around. He got his GED and got a job. We met and fell in love and got married. Manny wanted to be able to better take care of his family so put himself through trade school to become an electrician. He wanted to work in a field that would help support our family and help preserve a healthy environment for his little girls so he got a job installing solar power systems for homes and businesses in Maryland.
I’m a U.S. citizen and never thought that the man I loved and the father of my two beautiful daughters age 7 months and 4 1/2 years could be taken from us. He is a dedicated father, loves his girls immensely and they love him back. His four year old daughter asks for him constantly. He is truly the parent he NEVER had.
We are worried because not only is a very integral part of our family unit missing, but Manny was also the primary income earner and our health insurance was covered by HIS job.
In a day and age where so many families are broken, Please HELP this family stay together. Please sign our petition to help FREE MANNY!