Juan Rodriguez avoids deportation; ICE given one week to decide

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HOUSTON-- The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been given an additional week to revue the deportation case of Juan Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, an undocumented worker from El Salvador, came to this country illegally 15 years ago. Rodriguez was notified that his immigration status had changed shortly after Donald Trump took office.

According to a survey by the Atlantic daily, ICE has arrested more than 41,300 undocumented immigrants since President Trump signed executive orders to tighten border security and crack down on sanctuary cities.

Rodriguez was authorized by ICE to turn himself in on June 29 but  took his chances and walked into the ICE offices on Monday morning alongside his attorneys, family and community supporters.

The FIEL organization was also present and has stood by the Rodriguez family through the entire ordeal.

"With his legal team, we are exploring every legal avenue which could help Mr. Rodriguez stay with his family in the U.S. By deporting the father the government will be, in essence deporting the U.S. citizen children," said Cesar Espinosa, Executive Director FIEL.

For now, Rodriguez will remain in this country with his wife and three daughters while his attorney's continue to fight on his behalf.  They already filed a motion to reopen his case and the government has another week to decide.

If the case is reopened Rodriguez will get several hearings before an immigration judge where he will be given an opportunity to apply for asylum based on his religion.

The Rodriguez’s family is of the Seventh Day Adventist faith and said that it is against their religious belief of family and unity to separate their family. By deporting the father the family would be in violation of their faith.

Lawyers will have at least 60 days to argue against deporting Rodriguez based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"We're confident that at some point this will be resolved favorably and this family will stay together," Attorney David Medina said.

The government is demanding Rodriguez wear an ankle monitor while the legal battles rage on.