MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH)– “I am a good person because I want to stay here for my children for my wife”
His fate is on shaky ground. Marco Reyes is hoping for a last minute appeal that will keep him with his Meriden family. But, a deportation order slated for Tuesday could send him back to his native Ecuador.
He has been here for 20 years, working and raising three kids. Every year for the past decade, Marco Reyes has been told he can stay in the U.S., but this year is very different for immigrants.
Reyes, his wife and two young kids came to the U.S. from Ecuador in 1997 without proper documents. Marco has been working construction jobs and paying taxes for the last 15 years. Ten years ago, the family was in a vehicle that accidentally crossed the border into Canada. That’s when U.S. immigration officials found out that the Reyes family was living here without documents.
The regular check-ins with ICE started then. Every year, Reyes has been granted a stay of deportation until this year, that is. If he is forced to go back, he will leave behind his wife, the two children that are now grown, and his 12-year-old daughter who was born here.
“I am feeling very bad right now. It’s just I want a second chance because I am not a criminal,” said Reyes.
“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, his daughter.
Stay is the most important word there, because that is what Reyes is trying to get, another stay of deportation. He has a lawyer who has filed for it in federal court, citing Reyes as the sole breadwinner for his family, and also saying his life would be in real danger back in Ecuador. His family has been the target of violence there, and the man who killed a family member was recently let out of prison.
Without a stay, Reyes will be order to get on a plane back to Ecuador Tuesday.