19 arrested during rally to stop Derby man's deportation - WFSB 3 Connecticut

19 arrested during rally to stop Derby man's deportation

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Demonstrators rally to support Derby father who is set to be deported (WFSB) Demonstrators rally to support Derby father who is set to be deported (WFSB)
Luis Barrios. (Family photo) Luis Barrios. (Family photo)

Nineteen people were arrested on Tuesday trying to stop the potential deportation of a Derby man.

Luis Barrios, 51, came here from Guatemala decades ago but never became a U.S. citizen.

A civil disobedience demonstration happened on Tuesday afternoon, just days before his deportation, in an effort to keep his family together. 

"We're here to protect immigrant rights," said Jesus Morales, Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance. "We're here because we believe that everyone has a chance in this country. The problem is right now that these doors are locked from the inside."

The demonstrators blocked the door to the Federal Courthouse and people were unable to enter the building on Tuesday afternoon.

 "Hey ICE leave our families in peace don't you dare deport Luis!" they chanted.

Around 1:30 pm., police arrived and the demonstrators were taken into custody. 

"We provided several warnings to the protesters, the vast majority of which left and then 19 agreed to be arrested," said Deputy Chief Brian Foley, Hartford police. "Their charges are criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct."

Those charges are considered misdemeanors.

In all 30 officers responded to arrest the 19 demonstrators who refused to move. They were put in the back of a police van one by one.

Barrios is the sole provider for his wife and kids and has worked for the same employer for years. His family said that without him, their lives will not be the same.

He made an impassioned plea on Facebook, which was posted on Monday.

Barrios arrived in the U.S. in the early 1990s after being warned to flee from his home country because his father was threatened and later killed. He fears that if he returns, he will become a target himself.

Since then, Barrios has fathered four children with his wife and has worked as a septic worker in Derby. Barrios has a clean criminal record, but his legal troubles began when he was pulled over for a broken taillight six years ago.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, denied his request for a stay of removal in early March.

His daughter spoke with Eyewitness News at a rally on April 28 in Hartford. She is pleading with immigration officials to keep her father here.

"He's a good person. Everybody loves him! He participates in the church community. He helps in the schools. We can stay together as a family, do what normal families usually do here. We can be at peace without worrying that ICE will be on top of us every day and stressing us out the whole situation," said Jessica Barrios.

The family has the support of both U.S. senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy. Blumenthal and Murphy said they "have repeatedly reached out to ICE officials and have received no information to justify the action." 

"It does not appear that Mr. Barrios poses a threat to the integrity of the immigration system. Mr. Barrios has no aggravated felonies, felonies, or misdemeanors in the United States, is a productive and valued member of his community, and has four U.S. citizen children. Based on these factors, we respectfully ask that his request for prosecutorial discretion be granted," Blumenthal and Murphy said in a joint statement. 

The civil disobedience action began at noon at ICE headquarters in Hartford.

All of the people who were arrested were charged with disorderly conduct and first-degree criminal trespass.

Check out photos from it here.

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