NEWARK, NJ – Today, U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez urged U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas Homan to give full consideration to the stay of removal application filed by Catalino Guerrero, a New Jersey grandfather facing deportation under President Trump’s aggressive immigration policies. Mr. Guerrero, an undocumented immigrant living in the United States for 25 years, has no criminal record and has owned a home in Union City, New Jersey for 13 years.
“Mr. Guerrero is not a threat to public safety or national security and should not be a priority for deportation,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is our belief that ICE’s resources are better directed at those who pose a risk to public safety, not those who have lived in our state for decades, have established significant roots in the community, have family, and do not have a criminal record.”
ICE officials have agreed to accept Mr. Guerrero’s petition for stay of removal this week, but will make a final decision on his application in May.
The full text of the letter is as follows:
March 10, 2017
Thomas D. Homan
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
500 12th Street SW, Mail Stop 5003
Washington, D.C. 20536-5003
Dear Acting Director Homan:
We write to respectfully request that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) give full consideration to the stay of removal application filed by our constituent, Mr. Catalino Guerrero. A favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion is warranted given his numerous equities, humanitarian factors, and potential eligibility for a U visa.
Twenty-five years ago, Mr. Guerrero came to the United States looking for a better life. He settled in New Jersey and has lived in our state ever since. Mr. Guerrero has consistently worked and provided for his family. He has owned a home in Union City, New Jersey for 13 years. He has a wife, four children, and four U.S. citizen grandchildren. He also has no criminal record. A few years ago, Mr. Guerrero was a victim of a stroke. He has a weak heart and he suffers from Type 2 diabetes. Given his medical history, he is in need of consistent medical care and is worried about the quality of care he would receive if he is deported to Mexico.
Mr. Guerrero has a final order of deportation because he applied for asylum with the assistance of someone who was not an attorney. Mr. Guerrero was not advised about the requirements or his eligibility for asylum. His asylum application was denied. Since the issuance of the final order, ICE has exercised prosecutorial discretion and decided not to deport Mr. Guerrero.
We urge ICE to continue to exercise this discretion and allow Mr. Guerrero to continue to reside in the United States with his family. Mr. Guerrero has lived in the United States for decades and contributed to his community and our state. Mr. Guerrero is not a threat to public safety or national security and should not be a priority for deportation.
President Trump has stated he wishes to deport people who are criminals. Recently, when asked about his pledge to deport millions of undocumented immigrants President Trump responded, “What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers. . . .” Mr. Guerrero does not fit that profile. It is our belief that ICE’s resources are better directed at those who pose a risk to public safety, not those who have lived in our state for decades, have established significant roots in the community, have family, and do not have a criminal record.
Thank you for your consideration.
Cory A. Booker Bob Menendez
United States Senator United States Senator