Father Granted Temporary Stay of Removal

By EFE Services

Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, an undocumented father who was arrested in Highland Park in February as he took his daughter to school, was saved from immediate deportation and will be allowed to stay in the country while fighting his case.

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) granted an emergency stay on Monday to Avelica-Gonzalez’ deportation order.

The case gained national attention following criticism against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for violating its policy of not arresting people near “sensitive places” such as schools and churches.

The man’s daughter, Fatima Avelica-Gonzalez, recorded video of the dramatic operation in which her father was arrested, and can be heard sobbing on the recording.

“These last months have been very hard for my dad and for us. My life changed the day ICE arrested my dad while he was taking me to school,” the young girl said.

The Mexican native will now be able to take a breather, after coming close to deportation as his emergency stay of removal, authorized by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, was set to expire on Monday.

“With this decision, the BIA is putting a stop to his deportation and now we hope that this same board will allow my client to stay in the country and fight his case for freedom,” his lawyer Alan Diamante told EFE.

From the Immigration Detention Center in Adelanto, California, Avelica-Gonzalez reiterated that the U.S. is his country, that his roots are here and he has a family that needs him.

“I am very grateful, beyond words, that the court has prevented my deportation,” said Avelica-Gonzalez, who is scheduled for a hearing on August 30, when he will seek his release on bail.

The small victory shows that it is necessary to denounce abuses that immigrant communities are living with throughout the country, said Emi MacLean, a lawyer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and one of Avelica-Gonzalez’s legal advisers.

From the beginning, the daughters of Avelica-Gonzalez “have set an example of their tenacity and how these arrests are destroying families and criminalizing immigrants,” he insisted.

The BIA decision opens the possibility for Avelica-Gonzalez to leave the detention center and fight his case for freedom, according to his lawyer.

“I have gained strength from all those who have been by my side these last months, the most difficult period of my life. I will never renounce the fight for my rights and for the rights of other immigrants,” said Avelica-Gonzalez.

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August 10, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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