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Arturo Hernandez Garcia: "I'm Fighting for Many Families"

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Friday, January 16, 2015   

DENVER - Despite a recent legal setback, Arturo Hernandez Garcia says he will not give up on his effort to remain with his wife and daughters in the United States by qualifying for President Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, also known as "DAPA."

Garcia, who has been living in sanctuary at the First Unitarian Society of Denver since October, said his case has become a symbol for millions of immigrants in the United States.

"I am the face for the other families because I have the media, you know," he said. "I need to try to fight my case and try to fight for the other people."

This week, Garcia said, the Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement decided not to support a motion that could have allowed him to remain in the country he has called home for more than 15 years. He's facing deportation to Mexico.

Jennifer Piper, an interfaith organizer for the American Friends Service Committee, a group that supports Garcia's case, said he qualifies for the DAPA program but that he and many people facing deportation are being excluded from a program that is meant to help them stay with their families.

"The real danger is that these families will be - they don't have any protection," she said, "and that they'll be deported before they can apply for this program that is really designed for them."

By executive action, Obama created the program late last year. It allows parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization that lasts for three years.


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