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The Day That Ripped Apart My Family

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In the summer of 2012, there was a day my fiancée, Juan Carlos, and I could finally enjoy a day off due to the rain and be with our kids. It was July, 31st  and our door was knocked on around 8:30 am.  My 14-year-old boy answered the door while I was resting on the couch. I went up to the door as my son told me they were policemen. They told me that they were probation officers, looking for a man named Eric, and they showed me the picture. I told them I had never met this guy; they then asked me if I was renting a room to him or not. I told them no.

My fiancée was in the bathroom and asked who they were. I told him they were probation officers looking for a man that we had never seen.  The policemen then asked me if they could go inside and ask my fiancée some questions about it, Juan generously let them in.

Juan was devoting his energy on helping them figuring out how they could find this stranger. One of the policemen asked us for our ID and stated that he needed it to write a report. I took out my driver’s license and Juan got his ID card to them. That was the turning point of the story.

We were then informed that they were not probation officers but immigration officers (ICE) and they were here to detain Juan Carlos for missing an immigration hearing in 2003.

I asked why they didn’t tell us the truth; one of them replied that if they did so then we wouldn’t open the door. At that moment, I had never been more helpless in my life. They even followed us to our bedroom and watched as Juan got changed; the other one stood in our hallway like a guard. Our sons were witnessing the whole thing. The 7 year old was screaming and crying out, “Please don’t take my Papi… You can’t do this…” But the officers were standing there like they didn’t hear anything.  When Juan asked if he could use the restroom they told him that he couldn’t because they didn’t have any more time.

They wouldn’t allow him to use the restroom in his own home! They had what they wanted! When he was about to leave, he hugged me, kissed me, and told me that he knew where he was going and he would see me in El Salvador.  This was his second time here in the U.S. and as a result, we are now facing a 20 year bar. The whole thing made me so mad and helpless.

To stand with this couple,  text “Justice” or “justicia” to 69866 and learn more about how we can Keep Families Together.

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