HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Protesters gathered in front of the federal court house in Hartford want the federal government to hear what they have to say. They’re hoping that they can keep a Derby man from being deported.
Among those at the Abraham Ribicoff Federal Building chanting ‘Shame on ICE’ were Lester and Jessica Barrios. Two of Luis Barrios’ four children and they’re worried.
“It’s very hard cause you just hear the news and all of a sudden and then you get really scared and you don’t know what to do and you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future and then knowing that your father is going to leave you and loving him so much and then like you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Lester Barrios.
Luis Barros came to the United States in 1992 and did seek asylum but his lawyer says he missed his hearing in 1998 because of an address mix up.
“Because he never appeared he was ordered removed,” said attorney Erin O’Neill Baker. “So he’s never had a hearing on the substantive merits of his claim.”
Because of that order the Derby dad never tried to find a path to citizenship and in 2011 a traffic stop for a broken tail light put him on Immigration’s radar. With a steady job, a family, and no criminal record he was low priority and was given a stay of deportation. He just had to check in once a year. During the last check in though they said he had to go. His daughter was with him.
“I was very frightened because I thought they were going to take him right away from there,” said Jessica Barrios.
She fears for her father’s safety. He hasn’t been back to his native Guatemala in 25 years.
“One of my father’s brothers has been murdered and there’s been a lot of family problems around there people looking for other people,” said Jessica Barrios.
“The Department of Homeland Security has the ability to grant a stay of removal,” said Attorney O’Neill Baker.
She is hoping Immigration will reconsider Barrios’ case and reopen his old removal order so he can get the chance to plead his case for asylum.
“He like always wants us to do good in school and become more than what he has and that really inspires us a lot,” said Lester Barrios.
If a stay of deportation is not granted Barrios’ supporters say he will have to show up at the airport at 2:00 A.M. next Thursday for a 4:00 A.M. flight to Guatemala.