Another major push is underway to help a Derby father avoid deportation.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal met with Luis Barrios at his home on Friday morning, just one day after he was set to be deported back to his home country of Guatemala.
Barrios was just granted a 30-day stay. On Friday, the pair discussed the ongoing efforts to keep him with his family in Connecticut.
Barrios came to the United States decades ago from Guatemala, but he never became a U.S. citizen.
He has a wife and four children and he's worked for the same employer for years. Many people including Blumenthal have joined the fight to keep them all together. Barrios fled from his home country back in the 1990's, after his father was threatened and later killed.
Barrios said he fears if he goes back, Barrios will become a target himself. He has a clean criminal record, but when he got pulled over for a broken tail-light six years ago, his troubles began.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement or, ICE, denied his request for a stay of removal in early March.
Sen. Blumenthal is actively working with authorities to provide long-term relief for Barrios and his family from the threat of deportation.
"Luis Barrios is the type of person who should be given a chance to stay in this country. They've been here for 24 years, working hard playing by the rules...a beautiful family," Blumenthal said. "We took extraordinary steps for a stay of removal."
Both Luis Barrios and his family said they're grateful for this time together and they're thankful for the support they've received during this difficult and trying time. Their only wish now is to stay in America forever and together.
"We tried to demonstrate we are here to do good things, that's why are here working for," Barrios said. "I would like to thank you and say God bless you and the country for opening up to us and hopefully we can stay here for a long time."
Other local lawmakers have also been speaking with immigration officials and writing letters, pleading with them to grant a stay of removal.
The community has also gotten involved, staging protests by the capitol and the federal courthouse.
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