Man Facing Deportation Gets Extension

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

HARRISONBURG -- Monday outside of an U.S. Immigrations and customs enforcement office, protesters gathered to call for Cesar Rios not to be deported.

"The policy is suppose to be that low priority cases are not suppose to be being deported," said Michael Snell-Feikema, who supports Cesar Rios.

Rios is an undocumented immigrant, who was facing deportation for the second time after taking a piece of firewood from a national park.

"If the ICE people are watching I just want to say that I do want to say, there is a lot of crime in Mexico right now and I'm actually afraid of going back," said Cesar Rios, who spoke to WHSV last Friday at a rally to encourage ICE to extend his stay.

According to Isabel Castillo, one of the organizer's of today's protest, Rios will be able to stay in the U.S. for another year and his ankle bracelet will be removed.

"If for some reason or other, ICE can't get its act together. I don't think we want Cesar to be the victim of that," said Snell-Feikema.

Representative Bob Goodlatte and others are in the process of working out a bill, currently called the 'Kids Act', to help undocumented children. It will not include adults like Cesar.

"Last week, as part of the step-by-step approach that the house judiciary committee is taking to address immigration reform, we held a hearing to examine the issue of those who were brought illegally to the united states as children by their parents. Legislation on this issue is still in the early stages of drafting. However, new enforcement measures must be in place, and operational, before any legal status is earned by those who live in the U.S. unlawfully," said Goodlatte in a statement.

"After conducting a comprehensive review of Mr. Rios's immigration case, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has chosen to exercise prosecutorial discretion by granting a one-year stay. ICE is focused on sensible, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators," said ICE in a statement.

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