(WTNH) — A New Fairfield man said goodbye to his wife and young children Wednesday morning.
Tuesday, the Colindres family was told Joel’s temporary stay had ended and that all attempts to remain in the country with his wife and two children, all U.S. citizens, were denied.
He did not seek sanctuary on Wednesday, as his wife and two small children took him to the airport, where he boarded a one-way flight to Guatemala, the very place he sought refuge from 14 years ago.
Colindres says he fears for his safety, as three of his cousins have been murdered recently in Guatemala.
“I’m terrified to go back there because that’s the country I left to become a better person,” Colindres said. “It’s dangerous over there, everybody knows that. It’s running away from being killed.”
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His wife Samantha said Joel was outside playing in the snow yesterday with his 6 year-old son and 2 year-old daughter.
It is probably the last time that is going to happen for at least five years, which is how long it will be before he is allowed to reapply to come back to the United States.
Last August, he was already at the airport for his flight when he got a last minute stay, but it was only temporary and it runs out Wednesday morning.
Samantha says the current administration has a senseless anti-immigration agenda. Joel is married to a U.S. citizen, has no criminal history and has been employed and paid taxes the last 14 years.
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Colindres was on the mind of Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty last night after the President’s State of the Union address.
“An admirable man is going to be ripped away from his family, so I have a lot more questions on the immigration proposals, but again, the country needs to move forward, and I hope the president will back up the words the words tonight with deeds that show he is committed to unifying this country and moving us forward together,” said Esty.
Colindres works in construction, most recently as a supervisor. He has no criminal record and pays taxes.
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His wife Samantha took to Facebook yesterday and posted a rant against the Trump administration and wrote that picturing her children’s faces as they say goodbye to their father later today, “rips my heart out and brings so much pain I can’t even express.”
Colindres is now barred from the U.S. for the next five years.
The lawyer for Joel Colindres said the family is devastated and just trying to adjust to their new reality.
Samantha Colindres said either her family will be without their father for five years or she will have to move with two young children all on her own.