Long Island Local 813 Teamster with no criminal record deported to Guatemala days after immigration check-in — with no notice to his family

Long Island IBT Local 813 Teamster with no criminal record deported to Guatemala days after immigration check-in — with no notice to his family
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/teamster-deported-notice-family-supp...
Eber Garcia Vasquez pictured with one of his grandchildren. Garcia built a life here with his wife, four children, and three grandchildren.
Eber Garcia Vasquez pictured with one of his grandchildren. Garcia built a life here with his wife, four children, and three grandchildren.(COURTESY OF EBER VASQUEZ)

GINGER ADAMS OTIS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, September 7, 2017, 4:52 PM
Thirteen days after he showed up for his annual check-in with immigration officials, Eber Garcia Vasquez — a 26-year Teamster living on Long Island with a clean criminal record — was deported with no notice to his family.

Garcia, 54, called his wife Wednesday from Guatemala to let her know he'd been sent back to the country of his birth, which he'd left nearly three decades ago in the middle of a violent civil war to seek asylum in the U.S.

His abrupt removal from the country came just one day after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents denied two appeals of his deportation order filed by Garcia's attorney.

An immigration Board of Appeal also denied a motion filed by Garcia's attorney to reconsider his deportation because the married father of three American-born children has a valid green card application pending.

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He was detained by ICE officials Aug. 24 and sent to a federal holding facility in Bergen County, N.J.

When his appeals were denied Tuesday, an ICE official told Garcia's attorney his deportation was imminent.

By Wednesday, he was back in Guatemala and his family only learned of his removal when he called to tell them where he was, his union said.

An ICE official confirmed his deportation.

"Garcia Vasquez was removed to his native country yesterday without incident," the spokeswoman said.

Teamsters Local 813, which represents workers at the Long Island waste facility where Garcia worked since 1991, had mounted a determined effort to pressure ICE and Homeland Security officials into releasing him.

Backed by elected politicians, the Teamsters held a press conference in front of ICE offices in lower Manhattan — but their pleas to allow Garcia to remain in the U.S. while his green card was processed came to naught.

"I am saddened, and frankly shocked that Eber was deported so quickly. This is happening to thousands of immigrants across the country and the inhumanity is obvious in each story. Today a family was torn apart, and now is without a breadwinner," said George Miranda, head of Teamsters Joint Council 16.

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Garcia at work for Teamsters Local 813, where he worked for 26 years.
Garcia at work for Teamsters Local 813, where he worked for 26 years. (COURTESY OF EBER VASQUEZ)
"Our union lost a valued member ... In the coming days we will be setting up a fund for the Garcia Vasquez family to help them cover their expenses. We will continue fighting for justice for all immigrants," Miranda said.

Garcia's wife Maria, who recently moved with their youngest daughter to Virginia to escape gang violence on Long Island, has been in a wheelchair for the past four months after a horrific car accident.

Without Garcia's earnings, the family could lose its Virginia home, their attorney said.

Garcia came to the U.S. in the 1980s and filed an asylum claim with the government. He was granted permission to work while his case wound its way through the courts.

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Several of his family members in Guatemala, including his mother, have been killed.

Garcia built a life here with his wife, four children and three grandchildren.

His asylum case was finally resolved in 2013, and not in his favor. The courts denied Garcia asylum status but under President Obama's policies he was allowed to stay in the U.S. while his green card petition was sorted out.

Garcia, with his clean criminal background and solid work history, was given the okay to return to his life as long as he checked in annually with ICE.

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When he went for his annual check-in Aug. 24, officials told his attorney his stay of deportation would not be renewed and he was marked for deportation.

His wife and his oldest son Melvin, 25, are U.S. citizens and both have filed green card applications for him — which could possibly get him back into the U.S. within one or two years, his attorney said.

But as the sole means of financial support for his family, the economic damage done to them by Garcia's absence will be hard to repair, the attorney noted.