HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hundreds of Connecticut residents are begging the U.S. government not to deport a New Fairfield man who is slated for deportation next week.
Joel Colindres got a reprieve back in August, but his wife’s plea for his asylum has been held up again and the deportation is proceeding. He says he faces certain death in Guatemala because of religious persecution. His wife is a U.S. citizen, his two kids are citizens. He’s lived, worked and paid taxes here for 14 years.
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Joel Calindres, accompanied by his wife, his lawyer, and Senator Richard Blumenthal reported to the immigration office in Hartford Thursday, and is expected to be deported to Guatemala in six days. Dozens of supporters and thousands of petitions are begging the federal government to reverse course on this case.
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They included his disabled Vietnam War veteran father-in-law Paul Corsak of Brookfield, who said this is not what he went overseas to defend,
This was a country where everyone was welcome, why did we have to change? What kind of a country tears apart honest, law abiding, hard working, tax paying families?”
Paul’s wife, Calindres’ mother-in-law adding, “If you were to ask me to whom I would want our only daughter to marry, both Paul and I would again agree it would definitely be our Joel.”
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Despite the fact that one branch of the government has approved Samantha’s petition to be a sponsor for Joel’s citizenship, another branch is marching toward sending him back to the country where three of his
relatives have been murdered in the past year.
Outside the immigration office Colindres tellling News 8, “I’m terrified to go back there because that’s the country I left to become a better person because there, it’s danger over there, everybody knows that. It’s running away from being killed.”
Senator Blumenthal says he was assured by the Secretary of Homeland Security that this wouldn’t happen saying, “The focus would be on criminals not on law abiding people married to U.S.Citizens.”
When he first came into the U.S. at Texas, Colindres turned himself in to authorities. He was allowed to stay but missed his first court appearance. Blumenthal says that summons was sent to the wrong name and
the wrong address.