Daughter fights to stop deportation of undocumented dad who has been in U.S. for 30 years

Credit: Maria Christina Hernandez YouTube screenshot

Credit: Maria Christina Hernandez YouTube screenshot

Originally published by Daily KOS

By Gabe Ortiz

María Christina Hernández is pleading for advocates to help her undocumented immigrant dad stay in the U.S. with his family, after winning a temporary stay of deportation that is just that—temporary.

Martin Martinez had been following ICE’s instructions by checking in annually—“these check-ins would last five minutes, they knew my dad had been here working, paying taxes,” Hernandez said—but was recently told to buy a one-way plane ticket for deportation back to Mexico.

Two decades ago, Martinez had two DUIs where no one was injured, and for which he paid his fines. He acknowledges he made a serious mistake, and has not been in trouble in the 20 years since. He had been given permission by the government to work, and was doing just that at a store, paying his taxes, and supporting his wife and children.

Still, despite the fact he checked in regularly under the Obama administration, Martinez again cruelly faces deportation under the Trump regime. This Tuesday he will find out whether or not his removal date is still set for the beginning of July, giving his family and advocates precious little time to act:

“As human beings we are exposed at making mistakes,” Martinez said. “But we also have the privilege to reflect on what we did wrong. So we can learn from those mistakes. When this happened, about 20 years ago, I complied with every fine, every punishment. I always went to court. I always tried to do the right thing, so that I wouldn’t owe a debt to society. I haven’t had any problems with the law for a very long time. I’m dedicated to my family, my children, my good children.”

“This is extraordinarily cruel, and terribly wasteful, and shockingly common,” stated an editorial from the New York Daily News. Martinez and other undocumented moms and dads are “not threats to anyone. They are members of the American community. Keep their families intact. Let them stay.”

Daughter Maria Hernandez filmed a heartfelt plea asking advocates to call ICE at (646) 230-3410 as soon as possible and tell them to not deport Martinez, so he can stay with his family where he belongs.


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