Religious Leaders in Kansas City, Missouri are working with attorneys to convince Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release an undocumented immigrant being detained. The immigrant has a wife and two U.S. citizen daughters in the country and advocates argue that separating the family will serve no real purpose.
41-year-old Josue Noe Sandoval-Perez is a husband and father of two U.S. citizen children. After being arrested earlier this month, ICE is preparing to remove Sandoval-Perez from the country. Kansas City attorneys and immigration advocates are working with his wife, who is also undocumented, to allow him to stay.
“Basically this comes down to: Are the interests of the U.S. served by breaking up this family?” says Andrew Kling, spokesperson for Communities Creating Opportunity. President Obama addressed the immigration issue during his State of Union speech and spoke of creating a pathway to citizenship for people like Sandoval-Perez. It would not make sense to deport him when millions of other immigrants will be allowed to stay in the country in a matter of months.
ICE acknowledges the efforts of individuals to prevent deportation of Sandoval-Perez, but he has previously been deported and also was arrested for theft. Because this is an “enforcement priority” for ICE, it may be difficult to argue this case in favor of Sandoval-Perez due to his record.
ICE spokesperson Shawn Neudauer responded to the case through an email which stated, “ICE is focused on sensible, effective immigration enforcement by implementing the following removal priorities: convicted criminals, those who re-entered the United States after having been previously removed, and those who have outstanding deportation orders.”
Local members of churches gathered in support of Sandoval-Perez and wrote a letter to ICE’s office asking him to be released for the sake of his family who have been long-term contributors to the community.
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