Update 9/26/17: An undocumented couple from Meriden, who had been told to leave the country by Friday, were granted a stay Monday evening. A judge will now consider reopening their case.
Several people were arrested Monday outside the federal government office building in Hartford, as they stages an act of civil disobedience to bring attention to the case of a Meriden couple who have been ordered to leave the country.
Franklin and Giaconda Ramos, who came to the U.S. illegally from Ecuador have been told by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents that they must leave the country by September 29.
The Ramos’ have lived in Connecticut for 12 years, and have two children who are U.S. citizens. Neither has a criminal record.
Some 30 protestors sat down in front of the doors to the Abraham Ribicoff building, which houses the offices of ICE, blocking employees from entering at the beginning of the work week. They displayed banners reading “ICE Stop Your Ethnic Cleansing” and “Keep The Ramos Family Together.”
Erick Ramos, 17, told WNPR the last few weeks have been very difficult for his parents. “It’s indescribable. I’ve said many times it’s hard as a son to see your mom -- she doesn’t eat no more, she cries at night, she’s not the same mom she used to be,” he said. “As a son, I want to protect her.”
Erick’s brother Jason, a student at CCSU, was one of those arrested.
Erick said his parent have previously checked in regularly with ICE and received stays of deportation.
“We’re not asking for a handout, we have always asked for the opportunity,” he said. “We come from sacrifice, we come from struggle -- my parents, ten times more. I will never understand what they had to go through to give me the privilege I have now.”
The protest also spotlighted other ongoing cases.
Marco Reyes Alvarez has spent seven weeks in sanctuary in New Haven church under threat of deportation. His wife Fanny spoke out Monday.
“We’re just asking for a second chance for him and all the families that are going through this. It’s very painful. We’re not asking nothing else, but to be able to work and live a decent life.”
A spokesman for ICE, Shawn Neudauer, issued the following statement:
"Both individuals have final orders of removal issued by a federal immigration judge in 2005. In August, both applied to ICE for stays of removal, and both were denied by the ICE Field Office covering Hartford. However, recently an immigration court granted the couple a stay of removal in furtherance of their legal proceedings. After reviewing both cases earlier this year....ICE chose not to place either in custody, allowing them the chance to make timely departure arrangements or to continue to seek relief before the courts.”
An attorney for the Ramos family has filed a motion to reopen their case.