Pennsylvania is home to many people who emigrated here from other countries. Some live under undocumented statuses, which poses a number of significant challenges to them and their loved ones. A current immigration detention situation in another state has caught the attention of many immigrants and immigrant advocates throughout the nation.
The matter concerns a 35-year-old man who has no criminal record in the state where he resides but was taken into custody by ICE officials. The man is currently being held in an immigration detention center and has a bond hearing scheduled for the first week in Jan. 2018. The man says he believes he was arrested in retaliation after participating in a news interview regarding the arrest (and subsequent deportation) of his long-time girlfriend.
The woman was arrested in June 2017. At the time, her boyfriend was left to care for their children while she was detained. She was later deported to Mexico and their children now live with her there. Not long after talking to reporters about that situation, the man says ICE officials took him into custody after asking him if he was the man who gave the interview.
ICE spokesmen say they did nothing to violate the man's rights. They assert that the man's undocumented legal status was discovered at the time of his girlfriend's arrest but nothing was done about it then because they wanted him to be able to take care of his children. Officials say that since the children are no longer in the United States, they moved in for the arrest. An attorney has stepped forward to act on behalf of the man; any immigrant in Pennsylvania facing similar problems may also seek consultation with an attorney experienced in immigration detention situations for guidance.
Source: The Seattle Times, "No retaliation against immigrant who spoke to media, ICE director tells Inslee", Steve Miletich, Dec. 22, 2017