MIAMI (CBS4) – A rally of support was held Tuesday for a South Florida father who faces deportation after getting arrested for driving without a license.
Noel Sosa, 24, has a 2-year-old daughter Noelia and also cares for his teenage cousins who had their mother deported two years ago.
“I think the most tragic part of it all is there’s a 2-year-old that’s an American citizen, what is that young girl going to think about her own country separating her family?” said Gaby Pacheco with Students Working for Equal Rights.
A group of family, friends and immigration supporters showed up with signs at the Krome Detention Center in Miami, where Sosa is being held. The protesters were hoping to help sway a judge’s decision to grant Sosa bond. They also wanted to send a message, asking government officials to act on immigration reform and give the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US a path to citizenship.
“They don’t have a status to be in our community, but they have no way to get a status,” said Pacheo.
The Machado brothers, Sosa’s cousins, also showed up plead for his release. They say Sosa took them in when their mother was deported two years ago.
“I want to show him the same support that he showed us when he took us in when we didn’t have a home at the time,” said Jose-Manuel Machado.
Sosa’s family and friends say he is a hard worker and loving father who deserves a chance to live the American Dream.
“We are on the eve of having an immigration reform bill,” said Pacheo. “How sad it would be that he gets deported and in a couple of months we get an immigration reform bill that he could have applied for and stayed with his 2-year-old.”
In response to the rally Immigration and Customs Enforcement released this statement: “ICE is focused on sensible, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes efforts first on those serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities. ICE fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference. We recognize that our nation’s broken immigration system requires serious solutions, and we fully support comprehensive immigration reform efforts. While we continue to work with Congress to enact reform, ICE remains committed to sensible, effective immigration enforcement that focuses first on convicted criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety.”
A judge granted a $4,000 bond for Sosa. His family is trying to raise the money to pay before the 30 day time limit.