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Immigrant faces deportation due to missing mud flaps

Immigrants in South Carolina might be interested in this not-uncommon saga of a Tuscon family broken apart by immigration practices that may turn a traffic violation into a potential deportation. A South Tuscon man on his way to work on Sept. 30 was pulled over for not having mud flaps on his truck and got more than a citation. In a case of mistaken identity, the police officer determined there was a warrant out on the man for domestic violence, which the man truthfully claimed was not for him. Nevertheless, the man now sits in a Florence detention center for undocumented immigrants.

Unfortunately, the situation was complicated by the fact that the man was driving with a suspended driver's license. Police took him to the county jail where Immigration and Customs Enforcement put a hold on him after his legal status was checked. After being held in jail for a week, ICE verified that the man had no warrant out for his arrest, but was nonetheless transferred to a private prison, where he faces a deportation hearing, according to a statement made by his father last Tuesday at a press conference.

The man's family has not seen him since the day he was arrested.

The 27-year-old father of three children, aged 12, 11, and five, had previously been deported to Mexico after serving over two years in a state prison for a drug offense. But the family claims that after he returned to his home in the U.S., he quit using drugs and changed for the better. The family depends upon his income. His children, who are U.S. citizens, attend a local Catholic School, and the man's elderly father, who works as a school custodian, requires surgery on an arthritic knee. Although the family has been in touch with the man by phone, his fate and theirs remain uncertain.

Undocumented immigrants occupy a precarious position in society. To secure the future of oneself and one's family, consider the help of an experienced legal professional.

Source:, "Neto's Tuscon: Missing mud flap leads to possible deportation" Ernesto Portillo Jr., Oct. 20, 2013

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