Breaking a Family Apart
NEW PALTZ, NEW YORK: Joel Guerrero, a New Paltz, New York, resident arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at his biannual check-in with ICE on March 1, is being held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearney, New Jersey.
ICE arrested Guerrero at his appointment on the grounds that Joel had once missed a court date—in 2011. He was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana at that time. Because of that conviction, under the rules for immigrants, Guerrero was mandated to check in with ICE two times a year, which is a rule he complied with. Guerrero legally immigrated from the Dominican Republic two decades ago and has his green card. He has kept his papers up-to-date.
Guerrero has attended every court date since that missed one, but ICE yesterday put a deportation order in effect for the single court appearance that he missed five years ago, nonetheless.
He was accompanied on his regularly scheduled appointment in New York City with ICE by his wife Jessica, a U.S. citizen and New Paltz native who is six months pregnant with their first child.