Activists rallied behind a Meriden family that's fighting deportation.
A peaceful protest in the name of Frank and Gioconda Ramos was held on Thursday outside of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Hartford.
Frank and Gioconda Ramos have a meeting with immigration officials on Thursday and are hoping to have their case reopened before they have to leave at the end of September.
The couple said they came to the U.S. from Ecuador in 1993.
“It’s very hard because we lived here 20 years," said Frank Ramos.
They said they tried to stay in the country legally through asylum and work sponsorship programs; however, they were denied. More than a decade later, they were given deportation orders.
They both worked and own a home in Meriden.
They said they've been given stays since 2012; however, with the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants, they've been ordered to leave.
“We’re very nervous, we see that ICE is doing things in a very untransparent way," said Jason Ramos, the couple's son.
The couple has two sons who are legal citizens, the oldest of whom is trying to sponsor their green card.
“They denied their most recent stay of removal on the grounds that they didn’t see enough reason for them to stay here," Jason Ramos said. "Even though they’ve been paying taxes since 1995. They have no criminal record. They have two US citizen sons.”
The couple told Eyewitness News that they already bought their tickets to Ecuador.
They'll have an update on their case after Thursday's meeting.
“We still have faith that everything will become good," Frank Ramos said.
“I’m very nervous, I’m very nervous," Gioconda Ramos said. "I leave my sons, my family. We are not bad persons.”
Eyewitness News reached out to ICE for comment but has not heard back.
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