ICE denies appeals to stop deportation of Guatemalan immigrant, father

The appeals to stop the deportation of a Guatemalan immigrant who has been living and working in New York for nearly 30 years were denied.

Eber Garcia Vasquez, 54, a member of the New York Teamsters and employee of the medical waste company Stericycle, was detained in August after attending a meeting with an immigration officer and sent back to Guatemala on Wednesday, a spokesman for the union said.

“I am saddened, and frankly shocked, that Eber was deported so quickly,” George Miranda, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16, said of Garcia Vasquez, who lived in Elmont, Long Island. “Today a family was torn apart, and now is without a breadwinner. Our union lost a valued member.”

Garcia Vasquez is married to an American citizen and has six children, three in the United States and three in Guatemala, his lawyer, Zachary Sanders, said. His wife is in a wheelchair recovering from a leg injury caused by a car accident, and his family depends on his income, one of his daughters said at a rally on Aug. 29, calling for his release.

Garcia Vasquez has being applying for a green card for years, according to Sanders. His petition for asylum was denied in 2013, but he received an order of supervision that allowed him to legally stay and work in the country if he reported annually to an immigration officer.

ICE officials denied him another stay of deportation at his latest meeting with an immigration officer, refusing to accept documents from his wife and son to be his green card sponsors, Sanders said.

“Garcia Vasquez had been granted multiple stays of removal which have since expired,” an ICE representative said after the detainment. “He has a final order of removal and his order of supervision has been revoked.”

Union members and several elected officials were also at the rally on Aug. 29 to urge ICE not to deport Garcia Vasquez, but the agency did not change its decision.

With Ivan Pereira