After 20 Years of Living in America, Father of 6 Faces Deportation — or Prison

Luis Blanco's application for humanitarian stay was denied yesterday and he was detained by ICE officials.

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After 20 years of living in the United States, husband and father Luis Blanco now faces the threat of deportation or prison after he was detained by ICE yesterday morning. On January 30, Luis entered an ICE Office in Plant City, Florida, where he has lived for two decades, with the hope that he would get a humanitarian stay on his deportation, something which would allow him to stay in America with his pregnant wife and their six kids. But his application was denied and Luis was then arrested by ICE officials.

Luis was originally deported back to Mexico in 1998 but he returned illegally to find work, eventually settling in Plant City. Over the subsequent two decades, Luis built a life for himself, including his family. Luis is the sole breadwinner for his wife and kids, which is why ICE had previously granted his humanitarian stay. But now, he is likely to be sent back to Mexico or could even end up prison since he had been deported before, depending on what ICE and Federal officials decide.

Luis’ attorney, Daniela Hogue, referred to his client’s deportation as imminent, claiming that the reason Luis’ application was denied the Trump administration’s aggressive immigration policies. According to ICE officials, Luis does have a criminal history, though so far there has only been confirmation of him “driving with tinted windows and without a license.”

While Luis was being arrested in the ICE Office, his wife and children were waiting for him outside and were understandably devastated when they discovered he had been detained. His oldest daughter Sonya said that with her father gone, she will now need to put off her plans to attend college in order to take care of her family.

“How would you feel being ripped apart from your family?” asked Sonya Medrano. “We all came as immigrants to begin with. None of us were here.”

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