Undocumented Immigrant and single father may be deported over missing license plate screws

Like so many others before him, Noe Parra Manrique is facing deportation charges after a routine traffic stop ended with him being detained. With the help of lawyers, Manrique is hoping he will be able to stay in the U.S. pursuant to ICE’s policy of prosecutorial discretion.

Deportation proceedings started after routine stop

Manrique is a 30-year-old single father who had just dropped off his five-year-old daughter at her babysitters before driving to work. He never made it there because he was pulled over by a police officer for missing a screw on his license plate. What first began as a routine traffic stop quickly turned into an arrest when the officer asked for Manrique’s driver’s license and he did not have one.

Once he was taken to the police station, they found out that Manrique was in the country unlawfully and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrived to take him to a detention facility. After spending eight hours being interrogated and thirty-five hours away from his daughter, Manrique was sent home with only a misdemeanor charge and deportation proceedings.

Returning to home country is unthinkable

Cases such as these happen every day for undocumented immigrants when they are detained suddenly while on their way to work. This is especially hard on families who have children that need to be taken care of. Lawyers are hoping that an immigration judge will think twice before deporting Manrique. He is not only the sole provider and sole guardian for his daughter, but his daughter is a U.S. citizen.

The concept of prosecutorial discretion was developed so that officers can show some leniency towards parents of American-born children. For many immigrants in a similar situation as Manrique, going back to their home country is unthinkable. Their children are already enrolled in the school system in the U.S. and their native countries often times have dangerous conditions to return to. It is unclear yet what Manrique’s situation will be, but because he has no criminal background, advocates are hopeful that an immigration judge will look favorably on his case.

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