Photo: Juan Andres (right) and his U.S. Marine son Aspar Andres (left)
In Kentucky, Juan Andres, the father of a U.S. Marine about to be deployed to Afghanistan, could soon be deported after being arrested earlier this month, but immigration officials are giving him the chance to ask for permanent residency.
The 41-year-old father of five has been in this country for over 25 years. He is originally from Guatemala, and as a result of a kind gesture, he now faces deportation to his native Guatemala.
So while Andres’ son, Lance Cpl. Aspar Andres, prepares to leave for Marine camp then head to Afghanistan, his father begins a fight of his own.
All of Andres problems began on December 9th, when he escorted his friend to the immigration office in Louisville in order to be his translator. Upon entering, an official suspected that Andres was not in the country legally, and had him arrested.
Ron Russell, Andres’ immigration attorney, has begun collecting letters in support of Andres, including letters from his children, friends, and employers.
“He’s got a lot of people that think really highly of him,” said Russell of Andres.
Though it is unusual for immigration officials to grant an arrested undocumented immigrant the chance to apply for a green card, Andres was granted time to get a case together. To gain legal status he has to prove he is of good moral character, has been in the country at least 10 years, and prove that deportation would cause great distress.
Russell believes Andres can easily prove the first two, and says Andres should be okay on the 3rd proof since his children are all citizens and he is the family’s main money-maker.
“We’re just asking for a day in court and…if we get that, I have good feelings,” said Russell.
While Andres and Russell were hoping to have more time to get everything together, they only have until the end of today (Dec. 29th) to file evidence with immigration officials.