SAN FERNANDO (CBS) — It’s been an emotional few days for the children and the wife of a 36-year-old San Fernando construction worker who is facing deportation.
Heriberto Parra was arrested last Thursday outside his home by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being detained at White Memorial Medical Center due to his diabetic condition.
In Spanish, Maria Gonzalez tells CBS2’s Suraya Fadel she and her husband came to the United States for work nearly two decades ago from their native Jalisco, Mexico.
They wanted to start a family and build a better life.
She says they trusted a notary public for years to achieve legal status and get help to gain citizenship. They unwittingly applied for political asylum.
“He’s not a criminal. His only sin is having fallen victim to the unscrupulous notary publics,” said Javier Rodriguez, an immigration rights activist.
“He was promised a work permit if he would file under political asylum,” Rodriguez added.
Local immigration rights groups say the Parras are one of many undocumented families with US-born children who have been lied to or taken advantage of by unscrupulous notary publics.
The uncertainty of this next chapter for Parras’ four children and wife of 11 years.
“We need him here with us. We don’t want him to leave,” Parra’s 10-year-old daughter, Leslie, said.