U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers detained 41-year-old Juan Andres last month after he accompanied a friend to an immigration interview to help with interpretation and immigration officials suspected he was undocumented.
Juan came to the United States more than 25 years ago. He is the father of five U.S. citizen children, including Marine Lance Cpl. Aspar Andres, who is awaiting deployment to Afghanistan. The Andres family has started a campaign asking ICE to give their father a day in court to show why he should be allowed to stay in the United States.
If Juan has a chance to present his case to a judge, he will be able to show that he is eligible for “cancelation of removal.” This form of relief is available for people who have lived in the United States continuously for at least 10 years, can show they have good moral character, and have a U.S. citizen spouse or children who would suffer hardship if they were deported. Juan’s employer, as well as a county attorney and sheriff from a community where he used to work, have submitted letters to ICE encouraging the agency to give him a court hearing.
The major legal obstacle Juan must overcome is a deportation order from 1995, which resulted from a criminal conviction for transporting other undocumented immigrants—fellow farm workers whom he drove to work. ICE says that because of the deportation order, Juan is not guaranteed a court hearing before he is deported. But ICE does have the authority to delay deportation and issue a court order so a judge can consider Juan's request for cancellation of removal.
ICE officials are expected to decide this week whether to exercise their discretion and issue a Notice to Appear so a judge can review Juan’s case.
Please sign the petition below telling ICE to give Juan Andres a fair day in court.
Mr. Andres has lived in the United States for more than 25 years. He has five U.S. citizen children who depend on their father and would face hardship if he were deported. Mr. Andres’ eldest son, Marine Lance Cpl. Aspar Andres, is currently awaiting deployment to Afghanistan. The four other children depend on his income to survive, as does his Lawful Permanent Resident partner.
Taxpayer money should not be used to detain and deport people like Mr. Andres, who clearly poses no threat to anyone and has contributed greatly to his community. ICE has the authority to exercise discretion in Mr. Andres’ case. The agency should issue a Notice to Appear so that Mr. Andres can present his case before a judge so that he may remain in the U.S.