Time may be running out for a New Fairfield father fighting to stay in this country. Joel Colindres is facing deportation to his native country, Guatemala, at the end of the month.
Dozens of supporters held signs and rallied in Hartford Thursday to support Joel Colindres.
“I just believe that there’s no reason whatsoever to steal Joel from his family,” said supporter Debra Cohen.
Colindres has been fighting deportation back to Guatemala for months. In August, he was granted a temporary stay. Right before Christmas, he found out he could be sent home Jan. 31.
“Something has to be done,” said Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). “That’s why we’re here and we will win with your help.”
His attorney says Colindres, who entered the country more than a decade ago, missed a court hearing and that triggered the deportation notice. It’s now being enforced by the current administration.
“I’ve been asking for forgiveness for 14 years and it seems like they don’t care,” Colindres said.
Colindres is a father of a 6-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter.
“I’m here fighting, like my wife is, for my kids,” he said. “I think it’s about me, but more my family. My two American kids. they were born here, and they deserve to have their father here in the United States.”
We checked in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a spokesperson said Colindres is still subject to a notice of final removal.
“Joel Calinders-Guerra, an illegally present citizen of Guatemala, was issued a final order of removal by a federal immigration judge in 2004. Since then he has sought relief from removal via several court actions and has been denied each. He remains subject to a final order of removal. For operational security reasons, the agency does not discuss specific removal arrangements prior to an individual’s successful repatriation,” ICE officials said in a statement.