Deportation of undocumented Ann Arbor resident delayed

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 9:56pm

On Tuesday, a federal judge delayed the deportation of undocumented Ann Arbor resident Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo. Sanchez-Ronquillo has lived in Ann Arbor for 19 years and has two children.

According to MLive, federal judge David M. Lawson held a hearing in response to a request by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to quicken Sanchez-Ronquillo’s deportation and ultimately did not make a decision. Sanchez-Ronquillo was granted an emergency stay on May 1, and his representatives, as well as the ICE, had until May 30 to file responses. On May 9, however, the ICE took charge.

In late April,  members of the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor communities rallied in support of Sanchez-Ronquillo, opposing his deportation. Sanchez-Ronquillo was scheduled for deportation in 2014, as well, but was acquitted following a letter-writing campaign. In April, he went to immigration court to request stay, but was instead detained, sparking the ongoing controversy.

In a message to the Daily in April, state Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D–Ann Arbor) said Sanchez-Ronquillo's deportation was representative of a large problem in the United States.

"This is part of a broader crisis for our community and our whole nation," he wrote. "It is heart wrenching when members of our community are torn away from us and from their families. These folks are good community members who pay their taxes and participate in our community's economic success. So with this case in particular, many of these same factors are at play. Mr. Ronquillo is part of this community."

Outside the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse on Tuesday, while the hearing took place, community members protested the potential deportation.

In a Facebook post following the hearing, Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor noted the day’s events were “Not a final victory but delay is positive!”

“I submitted a letter on behalf of Mr. Sanchez-Ronquillo and am proud to see so many from Ann Arbor express their support for him and his family,” he wrote.

In a message to the Daily, LSA junior Zoe Proegler, the incoming president of the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program, wrote — speaking on her own behalf — she is “relieved” to hear Sanchez-Ronquillo is able to stay.

“Personally, I’m relieved to hear that he’s been granted a stay and am proud to hear about the large support shown by the community today,” she wrote. “While MRAP’s work doesn’t deal specifically with cases like Jose’s, I’ve learned from the work we do that justice and compassionate treatment for all immigrants, including refugees, relies on the fair consideration of the individual’s circumstance.”

She also wrote Sanchez-Ronquillo’s deportation would prove deportation orders target people who should not be targeted.

“Speaking for myself, not MRAP, I believe it’s clear that deporting Jose, with no criminal record and a long history in this community, would be a cruelty to him and his family that shouldn’t be compatible with our ideals,” she wrote. “I’m happy for him and his family and hope people can learn from this case, which is a clear example of deportation orders targeting people who should be the very lowest-priority targets.”