Aracelio Jimenez Aguila (A024793698) has spent most of his life in the United States, working, paying taxes and raising a family. Although he was born in Cuba, he has been married to an American citizen for ten years. He has two daughters, both US citizens. The US government has allowed Aguila to be here, too; his presence has been no secret to them.
He has remained in good standing with his I-94 and legal work authorization, and he has a Social Security card. He has paid state and federal taxes every year. He has also paid into Social Security. Despite this, Aguila's citizenship status has remained in limbo, as has been the case for many Mariel Cubans. Recently, with his wife's help, Aguila has been approaching the final stages of his Permanent Resident (green card) application.
When bounty hunters working for ICE officials took Aguila into custody on September 19, 2011, he and his family were shocked. Arrested during dinner at his own home, Aguila was treated as a dangerous criminal, handcuffed in front of his 10-year-old daughter. While ICE officials claim they are enforcing a deportation order from 1986, they have yet to provide Aguila's attorney with a copy of the order. The attorney cannot understand why this deportation order wasn't mentioned at Aguila's recent green card interview.
ICE officers in the Buffalo detention center in Batavia, NY, have been ignoring protocol, trying to intimidate and force Aguila to sign paperwork that might finalize his deportation. Aguila has asked for his attorney, and the law dictates that he should not be questioned without her. Aguila has been told that he would be placed in solitary confinement for his refusal to sign.
Meanwhile, a file with his green card application sits on the desk of USCIS officials in Buffalo. Aguila has no dangerous criminal past, and has had a clean record since Immigration released him from custody in 1987. He simply wants to live a peaceful life with his family, and to watch his children grow up.
There are many citizens who have spoken to the generosity of Aguila's character. Aguila is a charitable and hard working person, and immediately after his detention, in an astounding display of solidarity, more than 100 friends rushed to write letters of support for his green card application, citing the value and merit of his presence in the United States. Aguila has an American wife and American children, and he has paid American taxes for years.
While the US government has never been without Aracelio's contact information, they never informed him of this deportation order until 2007. Repeated phone calls at the time and direct requests from the lawyer to see the deportation order were answered with, "We'll get back to you." There was no further communication until the arrest, and the alleged deportation order still has not been produced. Now he is seized from his family as though he has been hiding. ICE asserts that they are dealing with dangerous illegals, yet Aguila is neither.
Tell ICE and USCIS to release Aracelio Jimenez Aguila and grant him legal permanent residency in the United States.
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