Meriden family fights to save father from deportation

(Photo provided by the Reyes family)

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Hand-in-hand with tears in their eyes, the Reyes Family sat down with News 8 Friday to share their story as husband and father Marco has been told he must go back to his native country of Ecuador on Tuesday.

“I am a good person because I want to stay here for my children, for my wife, so it’s just I want a second chance,” said Marco.

“It’s heartbroken. It’s very painful to know that in the next Tuesday, August 8th, he might have to leave so it’s very hard for us,” said Fanny Torres-Reyes, Marco’s wife.

Marco and Fanny came to the U.S. in 1997 looking for a better life for their family. At the time they had two young children. Their oldest daughter is now 23, their son is 21.

“It’s very sad to see my dad go through this, still live throughout his life, go to work, back home, support his family, us. You know, it’s just I don’t know where I’d be without him,” said Marco’s son Anthony.

The couple’s youngest daughter, Adriana, is now 12 and was born here in Connecticut.

“He’s just amazing. Takes care of me and my family. He does what he can, brings food. He takes care of everything. I don’t know what we would do,” said Adriana.

Immigration officials first took note of the family after they accidentally crossed the Canadian border on a family vacation in 2007. Since then Marco has checked in with immigration every six months.

“He has complied with everything. He has followed the rules. He has shown up when asked, he has appeared in court. He’s done all the right things,” said attorney Erin O’Neil-Baker.

O’Neil-Baker first came on the Reyes case earlier this week. She has filed a motion to appeal the decision with immigration and is asking for an emergency stay and a hearing to review Marco’s asylum case. The Reyes’ don’t want to give specifics but say they fear their lives would be in danger if they return to Ecuador.

“It doesn’t make any sense. Why? The question is why are we splitting up these families,” asked O’Neil-Baker.

As the Reyes’ face what could be their last weekend together the hope is someone will step up and stop the deportation.

“I am feeling very bad right now. It’s just, I want a second chance because I’m not a criminal,” said Marco.

“I hope that they give him a second chance so he can stay longer to fix everything here, to stay with the family,” said Adriana.

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