Group works to stop local man's deportation - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Group works to stop local man's deportation


One day after President Barack Obama vowed to pass immigration reform, a small group is pushing for change.

They want to help a local father who is facing deportation.

Josue Perez of Kansas City is set to be deported Friday.

A stay has been filed on his behalf that may keep him locally longer. If it's successful, it'll keep the Perez family together at least for the time being.

The stay request was filed by the interfaith group Communities Creating Opportunities. It's made up of clergy from around the metro.

Wednesday they delivered a letter to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Kansas City asking for Perez' release so he can be reunited with his wife and kids. He has two children, a 17-year-old son in the U.S. under a Homeland Security program for childhood arrivals and a 12-year-old daughter who is already a U.S. citizen.

The letter detailed Perez' arrival in the states in 1998, his accomplishments since he's been here and the financial and emotional hardship his deportation would cause the family.

"We feel that there is ample room for prosecutorial discretion here. These laws are intended to keep communities safe. The community doesn't need to be kept safe from Josue. He's a law-abiding citizen and member of the community for 16 years and his family will stay here," said Pastor Donna Simon with Community Creating Opportunities.

The group will hold a rally and prayer vigil for Josue Perez Friday at noon at Washington Square Park.

Simon and another member of the CCO were asked why, in the 16 years Josue Perez has been in the United States, he never once started the process to become a legal citizen. They side-stepped the question.

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