Valley father of three fights deportationPosted: Updated:
A local man previously protected from deportation now has 30 days to explore his legal options.
Marco Tulio Coss has been checking in with ICE officials for three years, after he was pulled over for a traffic violation and found to be living in the country illegally.
But Coss was warned that his Wednesday check-in with ICE would be different.
"They've decided to essentially declare that every single person, whether they are law-abiding, or not committing crimes, taking care of their children, are an enforcement priority," says Ravi Arora, Coss' attorney.
Arora says the rules have changed from the previous administration, during which some undocumented immigrants were granted permission to continue their lives in the U.S. as long as they followed certain guidelines including regular follow-up with ICE.
"My life is here," says Coss. He says he cannot imagine going back to a place he no longer knows.
Coss says the area he is from in Sonora, Mexico is overrun with violence.
"I don't want that life for my son, my wife," he says.
The husband and father of three was ordered to return to the downtown ICE office May 12, giving his attorney 30 days to request a stay of removal and, possibly, a request for asylum.
"I don't know that I would say I'm confident they'll grant it," says Arora. "We'll be presenting evidence that he's got children who are United States citizens as well as equitable factors for him such as the fact he's been law-abiding during his time here."
Coss says he was pulled over for no reason. Arora says it was a traffic violation he could not provide details on because he was not working Coss' case at the time. Arora says the stop did not involve DUI allegations.
When Coss returns May 12, a judge may rule on requests filed by the attorney to avoid deportation, or the court may move forward with deportation proceedings.
ICE says permission to stay in the U.S. is granted to individuals on a case by case basis.
Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.