With hours until deportation, Meriden man’s neighbors weigh in

Marco Reyes (WTNH/ Kent Pierce)

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Time is running out for a Meriden man facing deportation in less than a day, unless a federal judge steps in. Tuesday is the scheduled deportation day for Marco Reyes.

He and his wife and two children came here from Ecuador 20 years ago. He did not have proper documentation, but he has stayed in the United States, working construction jobs and paying taxes.

“I am a good person because I want to stay here for my children for my wife,” Reyes said in a News8 interview last week. “It’s just I want a second chance.”

Related: Meriden family hopes appeal will save father from deportation

His neighbors in Meriden are divided over whether he should get that second chance. We asked, should Reyes get deported?

“Absolutely,” said Meriden resident Ron Castagna. “He didn’t do the right thing by reporting and doing the things you need to take care of to become an American citizen.”

“I think that if he’s employed and he’s a productive member of society, if he’s making his contribution, then no he shouldn’t,” Meriden’s Christine Medina said.

He has an attorney, Erin O’Neil-Baker, who says Reyes would be in real danger back in Ecuador, and he is the sole breadwinner for his family. She has filed for a stay of deportation.

“He has complied with everything,” she said in an interview with News8 last week. “He has followed the rules, he has shown up when he asked, he has appeared in court. He’s done all of the right things.”

All except that original crime of entering the US without documentation.

Related: Meriden family fights to save father from deportation

“The law is that he should be here legally,” said Meriden resident Anthony Sabino. “In terms of the system being flawed and him being here so long has actually put us in a position where they may need to bend the law so that he can stay.”

Bending the law is essentially what’s been happening for years. Reyes had been reporting to immigration agents every six months, and was told he could stay each time until now. If a federal judge does not issue a stay, Reyes will be ordered to get on a plane Tuesday.

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