Josue Noe Sandoval-Perez was deported from the U.S. 16 years ago for not having proper documentation. After returning and starting a life in the U.S., Sandoval-Perez was taken into Immigration custody and sent back to his native Mexico without getting a chance to even tell his family he was gone.
Sandoval-Perez returned to the U.S. to find work and support his wife and two children. For the past 16 years he has worked with no criminal record, paid taxes and served as the breadwinner for his family. After being picked up by immigration officials, he was sent to a detention facility for a number of days in which he was not allowed to contact his family.
After he was finally sent to a border town in Mexico, Sandoval-Perez was able to contact his family who did not even know he had left the country. Sandoval-Perez’s case represents the many difficulties that face President Obama as he tries to work with the Homeland Secretary to create a more “humane” deportation policy. Many undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. have strong ties to their community and family but because of previous immigration violations, this may limit their ability to receive leniency in the court system.
Immigration advocates would argue that Sandoval-Perez should have been considered for prosecutorial discretion, which is a concept based on looking at immigrant cases individually and analyzing whether or not DHS should deport the immigrants. In most cases where the family relies on the undocumented immigrant for financial support or they are the primary caretaker for children or a relative, courts tend to have more leeway.
In an interview in Mexico City, Sandoval-Perez pleaded with President Obama “…to end this discrimination, to change this… Family have to stop being separated.” The Sandoval family say they came to the U.S. because they could not make a living and support themselves with the wages they earned in Mexico. Now, Sandoval-Perez’s wife and kids are working with immigration advocates to help reunite their family.
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