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St. Louis Immigration Attorney Discusses DHS Efforts to Deport Guatemalan Man for Bounced Check

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President Obama and DHS repeatedly claim that their record-setting pace of deportations is focused primarily upon ridding the U.S. of criminals.  As the President approaches his 2,000,000th deportation, immigration advocates are focusing on the sad case of Marco Gonzalez of Detroit, Michigan.

Mr. Gonzalez and his wife fled Guatemala in the early 1990s in order to escape the civil war going on there at the time.  They arrived in the U.S. and filed for asylum based upon their fear of persecution if they were forced to return to Guatemala.  They now have five U.S. born American citizen children.

Gonzalez has been ordered deported and given an imminent deadline to leave the U.S.  As with many deportation cases, a variety of circumstances led to that deportation order.

First, Gonzalez's asylum case languished for years and years.  He filed the case in 1993, claiming that guerillas had captured and tortured him. But the case was not heard until 2007 - fourteen years later.  By that time, things in Guatemala had settled down and the immigration judge told Gonzalez that he was going to have to return home.

Second, although Gonzalez has been working full time for many years, back in the 199os he pleaded guilty to check fraud after a check from his employer had bounced.  It is unclear as to whether he forged the check or whether it simply bounced.  What is clear is that, based on bad advice from an attorney, Gonzalez pleaded guilty so that he could be processed out of jail in a single day.

Thus, despite the problems that Gonzalez has had in Guatemala, despite the fact that he is the sole provider to his wife and 5 U.S. citizen children and despite the Obama administration's claim that their deportation focus is on hard core criminals, this man is going to be forced to return home and leave his wife and children in Michigan.  It is a tragedy and should be stopped.

A Michigan immigrant rights group has tried to intervene and is seeking assistance from the 2 Michigan Senators.  We wil follow this story and update as we receive updates.

If you have questions about asylum, deportation or obtaining lawful status in the U.S., please give us a call at 314-961-8200 or use the contact us bar on this page.

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