The holiday season is often busy for New Jersey families. From shopping for gifts to hosting relatives and friends for parties, many people say they dread this time of year because it is so stressful. Most would agree that there are many families facing more serious problems than deciding what to buy or where to shop; for instance, a family in another state is currently trying to resolve a serious immigration problem.
It was around this time, last year, when the U.S. government ordered a married man who is the father of three to leave the country. His three children are U.S. citizens and he has been living and working in the country since 1992. Upon learning he was being threatened with removal, he sought sanctuary in a church.
As church communities often do, this one provided safe shelter for the man, and he has been living there for the past year. Advocates protesting on his behalf say the government should stop threatening him with deportation and should allow him to go home to celebrate Christmas with his family. Nearly 300 people feel so strongly about the issue that, to protest the situation, they chained themselves together to block the entrance to a federal building where ICE has an office.
A request for a stay in the man's deportation process has been denied. An ICE spokesman said the government is continuing its process of the man's deportation and he is currently considered a fugitive. Any New Jersey immigrant who is currently facing similar legal status problems may want to discuss his or her situation with an experienced immigration law attorney.