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(AP) — Hawaii’s congressional delegation is urging U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to stop the deportation of a Hawaii coffee farmer.
Andres Magana Ortiz is ordered to report to U.S. immigration officials in Honolulu on Thursday with a bag packed to return to Mexico, his immigration attorney James Stanton said.
The delegation’s letter Monday to Kelly asks him to exercise his prosecutorial discretion to allow him to remain in Hawaii, where he is a coffee farmer on the Big Island and married to a U.S. citizen.
The Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration has been the subject of protests such as this one at Honolulu International Airport in January. Now Hawaii’s congressional delegation is coming to the defense of a Big Island coffee farmer slated for deportation.
Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat
“We agree that persons that pose a threat to national security and public safety should be a priority for deportation proceedings. However, Mr. Magana Ortiz poses no such threat to national security or public safety and therefore should not be a priority for removal,” said the letter signed by U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Rather, it is in our national interest for Mr. Magana Ortiz to remain in the United States where he can continue to work, pay taxes and raise a family.”
Magana Ortiz entered Arizona illegally in 1989 when he was 15, Stanton said. His wife is petitioning for him to become a legal permanent resident. The delegation’s letter also asks that a review of her petition be expedited.
“President Trump has claimed that his immigration policies would target the ‘bad hombres,’ ” Judge Stephen Reinhardt said in an opinion issued last week. “The government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz shows that even the ‘good hombres’ are not safe.”
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