A legal defense team is working to halt the potential deportation of a Port Chester father who was scooped up last month by members of Immigration and Customs Enforcement during a routine check.
The Hudson Valley Community Coalition held a meeting Monday to map out a legal option to keep Aroldo Soto-Contreras, who came to America from Guatemala in 1989, when he fled the war-torn country, including receiving confirmation from Sen. Chuck Schumer that his office has contacted ICE.
"The lawyers are going to make an emergency request and appeal to avoid his deportation," said Luis Yumbla, director of the Hudson Valley Community Coalition. "They are going to make a proper documentation proceeding in order to ask for a case review."
The organization has also organized an online petition hoping to gather enough signatures to pass along to ICE as a way to bolster his case. To date, almost 300 people have signed the petition.
“It’s unfortunate that a hard working and decent family father is facing the risk of deportation," said Yumbla. "At this moment our neighbors, three American children are living at fears without his father. We asked for a delay in his deportation and a new opportunity for this family of Port Chester."
Contreras, who is married and the father of three, was arrested for driving while intoxicated three times during his early years in the country, though he “has since reformed himself," Yumbla added.
He has worked at the same Stamford, Conn. pizza place for nearly two decades and has been a resident at the same house in Port Chester for several years.
"The community and our organizations are raising our voices and doing everything to stop the deportation," Yumbla said.
Contreras is being held at the Bergen County Homeland Detention Center in New Jersey. Click here to sign the petition.
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