Allegations that ICE used his child to lure and detain West Haven father

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Mynor Espinoza is a free and happy man. He’s now able to enjoy quality family time with his wife and children at home in West Haven.

“It’s like my daughter told me,” he said through an interpreter. “Daddy, it’s like you’re reborn.”

Thanks to help from community and activist groups, Espinoza was able to post bond on Wednesday. He was detained for about two months after he visited ICE offices in Hartford in June. His lawyer, Yazmin Rodriguez, says ICE lured him to his offices using a meeting with his 9 year-old son as a reason for him to be there. Espinoza’s son came to the U.S. last fall from Guatemala as an unaccompanied minor.

Rodriguez believes ICE is now using children to try and bait and arrest undocumented parents.

“I think using a child or arresting a parent in front of a child is inhumane and completely unnecessary,” she said.

ICE addressed those allegations in a written statement to News8:

“The allegation that ICE used Mr. Espinoza’s child in a ruse is false. Mynor Espinoza was known to ICE because he had previously been deported. However, the Hartford ICE officers did not know Espinoza had illegally returned to the United States until he arrived at the ICE office on the day of the appointment for his minor child.”

Espinoza says he’s just glad the whole ordeal is over and he can enjoy some quality play time on the couch horsing around with his kids.

“I feel very happy at this moment,” he said.

He does have some advice for others in his same situation. He urges them to see a lawyer before they see ICE.

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