“Mr. González's youth in Guatemala was harrowing. During the civil war, he was repeatedly held by force by anti-government forces. When he refused to fight with them, he was tortured and imprisoned in a cave for months. He eventually escaped, and was able to claim asylum in the US. The insurgents are still active as criminal gangs in his home area, and often take violent revenge on returning refugees who did not support their cause during the war.
“Mr. González has held a green card for almost two decades. The proximate cause of his deportation is two bad checks he wrote in Florida in 1997 after his employer had refused to pay his wages for five months of work at a bakery. González’s lawyer advised him to plead guilty because the charge was so minor, but did not inform him that doing so would cause him to lose is green card. This practice was recently declared illegal by the US Supreme Court in the landmark Padilla case.
“Community leaders are calling on the Obama Administration and ICE to exercise discretion in this case, and stop González’s deportation.”
“A small mistake almost 20 years ago shouldn’t cause a family to be broken apart,” says Raquel García of Michigan United. “The Obama Administration has said that they won’t be going after hard-working parents, but that’s clearly not the case. As we approach the Administration’s 2 millionth deportation, it is families like the González’s that are paying the price.”
The family was interviewed by a local social worker, who expressed her concern regarding the children’s welfare.
“The 5 González children are all US Citizens, and will be forced to go on public assistance without their father,” says Kaity Nicastri of Detroit, “The children understand what is happening, and the thought of losing their father is causing incredible emotional damage. No one, not the family, not the taxpayers, not the neighborhood where this family lives and contributes, will benefit from Mr. González's deportation.”
Supporters are asked to call ICE at 202-732-3000 and request prosecutorial discretion for Marco González.
Contact: Ryan Bates, 248.787.6767, [email protected]; Raquel García Andersen, 313.595.6492, [email protected]