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New Immigration Law: New Paltz Man Fights Deportation to Dominican Republic

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. — In late February, 37-year-old Joel Guerrero arrived for his six-month check-in with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Due to his immigration status, though, he was arrested and sent to a facility in New Jersey.

“He doesn’t deserve this, and we as a family don’t deserve this,” said Joel’s wife, Jessica Guerrero. “They basically had to pry me off of him. I could not believe that that was happening.”

Jessica is now working with an immigration lawyer to get her husband out of jail.

“I mean, you’re ripping not just my family … we’re newly married, I’m 6 months pregnant, we both work, we are trying to live the American dream,” Guerrero said.

Jessica said her husband has been a permanent resident of the U.S. for more than 20 years. But Joel’s immigration status changed in 2004, when he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge. Then in 2011, he missed a court date to discuss his permanent resident status.

“I understand that this is not the result of one person or one administration,” Jessica Guerrero said. “This is a broken immigration system that has been broken under many administrations.”

In 2014, Joel was given an order to remove and began six-month mandatory check-ins with ICE officers. With the current immigration plan, ICE agents are now looking to deport him to the Dominican Republic.

“This is supposed to be the happiest time of our life, and it’s just become, right now, an unbelievable nightmare,” Guerrero said.

Jessica said she has wide support from her community, including town Councilman Daniel Torres, who passed a resolution supporting Joel’s release.

“We certainly believe in justice and people’s liberties,” Torres said. “We simply asked that Jessica’s husband not be deported. What we said is that we think the punishment should fit the crime, and in this case, we don’t think that a misdemeanor charge should tear apart the family.”

Jessica hopes her husband will have a hearing in May, allowing him to come home while his immigration status is reviewed. TWC News reached out to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Joel’s case. They said they cannot comment at this time.


Mar 9, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated January 21, 2018 at 12:31 AM
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