For Immediate Release
Contacts: Marie Vincent, marie[at]pangealegal.org
Community and family celebrate stay of removal of Felipe Valdes.
Background: Felipe de Jesus Valdes Lozano immigrated from Mexico to the United States +20 years ago. A hard worker and regular US taxpayer, Mr. Valdes is also the founder of a local soccer league that supports several referee jobs. He is a loving father, husband, and a grandfather to a 4-year-old girl. Today, Mr. Valdes is the primary support for the family of five. His son has serious spinal abnormalities and depends on specialized chiropractic and medical care. Mr. Valdes' oldest daughter, Mayra, is pregnant and is due to have her second baby in early December. Her father’s immigration situation has been extremely stressful for her and has placed her health at risk.
Since his family does not have health insurance, they depend on Mr. Valdes to cover the high costs of medical care. His two older children, who are DACA approved-DREAMers are enrolled in college, and dream of having their dad see them graduate.
For more than ten years, Mr. Valdes has been a victim of notario fraud and shoddy attorney representation. He has been eligible for a strong U Visa for the last 10 years and was never advised to apply until recently. He currently has a U Visa application pending and is on his way to becoming a lawful resident of the United States.
In late October 2013, Mr. Valdes received a letter from Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), asking him to report for deportation to Mexico on November 18, 2013.
Accompanied by Pangea Attorney, Marie Vincent, his family and many community members, Mr. Valdes complied with his reporting obligation on November 18th and appeared at ICE in a timely fashion. His attorney entered the ICE building with Mr. Valdes to submit a detailed and well-supported application for a stay of removal, while community members chanted and voiced their support during a vigil outside of the building with his family and friends.
ICE granted a one-year stay, the maximum length possible and agreed not to detain Mr. Valdes. He will now watch his second grandchild be born and his son graduate from high school in the United States while he supplements and awaits the processing of his U Visa application.
Mr. Valdes is a prime example for the reason just immigration reform is necessary. His courage to come forward and share his case with the public will hopefully serve to empower others like him to come out of the shadows and stand for the right to keep our families together.