A Connecticut husband and father of two has been deported back to Guatemala after ICE informed him that officials misspelled his name on a document, an error that resulted in him not receiving a crucial piece of mail regarding a court date in 2004.
Joel Colindrés found out just three days after Christmas that he had until January 31st to leave the country. Colindrés’ lawyer, immigration activists, and congressional Democrats are blaming the Trump administration.
Colindrés’ tale is long and winding. He came to the U.S. illegally in 2004. Upon crossing the border, Colindrés immediately turned himself into the Texas authorities. After doing so, he was granted a legal provisional waiver to stay in the U.S. Colindrés then immediately began the process of becoming a citizen. It was after this that ICE officials misspelled his name, landing him his first deportation order. Since then, he’s received several stays of deportation and continued the process of becoming a citizen.
During his time in the U.S. Colindrés seems to have been, by all accounts, a model citizen. He owns a home, pays all his taxes, and has two children with his wife who’s a U.S. citizen. Despite following all the correct steps, Colindrés was first told to leave the country in July of 2017. He was told he had 28 days to quit his job and get all his affairs in order before having to go to Guatemala. Come August, moments before his flight, while standing in line to get on his flight, Colindrés was saved by a Petition for Review filed by his lawyer.
The course of events has left Colindrés’, his family and their lawyer are all baffled by the second deportation order. In an interview with the Patch, Colindrés’ wife Samantha told reporters “Even our lawyer said she doesn’t think she’s ever seen this happen in the case of anybody going to the airport, getting saved forty minutes before their flight, and then ICE picking on them again with another deportation date when there is really no need for it.”
According to Samantha, the family is feeling “broken and displaced.” It’s unclear when Colindrés’ wife and two kids will get their father back, as he will endure a five-year bar from the U.S.
Unfortunately, stories like this are anything from uncommon. A Polish doctor is still facing potential deportation after 40 years in the US. A father of six faces deportation after 20 years. A Detroit man and a father of two, as well as his disabled wife’s primary caretaker, is facing potential deportation after 17-years in the U.S.