Sunday, September 20, 2020

Marine Pleads to Immigration Officials to Halt Father’s Deportation

A military service member expecting to be deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 is asking immigration authorities not to deport his father.

Lance Cpl. Aspar Andres, 21, a marine based in Hawaii, returned to his native Kentucky on leave to spend time with his family only to find out his father had been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

His father, Juan Andres, 41, had accompanied a friend to the ICE office at the Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse and Custom House in Louisville with the intention to act as a translator since the friend didn’t speak much English.

Becca O’Neil, Andres’ attorney, says it was a naïve mistake by the 41-year-old farm laborer who has been in the US illegally for over 25 years.  Once there, he was asked for identification papers and arrested soon afterward when it became clear he was undocumented.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” a uniformed Aspar Andres, said at a news conference earlier this week.

O’Neil says that given Andres’ military status, “he deserves to have somebody listen to our request.”  On Monday, the two went to the ICE office only to find out that the official who had told them to come then wasn’t there and nobody else would be able to talk to them.

The second oldest of five children ranging in age from 12 to 22, Andres says he enrolled in the Marines shortly before his graduation from Marion County High School.  It was a decision that made his father “very proud of me” Andres says.

“He taught me how to be a hard worker,”Andres said. “… He’s been a good father to me.”

Jennifer Franklin of Waddy, Ky. stands by the Andres family.  She says Juan Andres has been working for her father, Vallard Goode, raising tobacco and beef for the past 14 years at his Casey County farm.

He has “worked very, very, very hard for what he’s got, and we send his son off to fight for his country,” said Franklin. “He’s going to be (deported) to a country he knows nothing about. He has no home, he has nothing in Guatemala.”

Courier-Journal