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Several speak out over separation of families at border

KOAT Albuquerque logo KOAT Albuquerque 2/3/2020
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On Monday, an Albuquerque man who was facing the possibility of being separated from his children was told he’s eligible to stay in the U.S. until further notice.

Exslander Galindo Duarte came to the U.S. from Guatemala when he was 9 years old. Galindo Duarte is on a pending U-Visa, which is a visa for victims of crime. This type of visa requires people to check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement periodically, but recently, many of those people checking in are being deported. Galindo Duarte's wife, who was on the same type of visa, was deported in May.

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“My kids have suffered enough already by ICE deporting their mother right before Mother's Day,” Galindo Duarte said. "Hopefully, ICE will do the right thing and let me stay here after Father's Day."

After his check in Monday, ICE determined Galindo Duarte is eligible to stay in the U.S. until further notice, but he is required to continue checking in with ICE every six months. His next check-in is in January.

Many lawmakers are also speaking out against the Trump administration's policy to separate children from their families at the border. The administration constructed "tents" in Tornillo, Texas, which is just about 300 miles away from Albuquerque, to house the immigrant children. Officials with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe said they are appalled.

"They are fleeing not perceived or imaginary danger -- real danger -- when they come seeking asylum. That's their right to do, and it needs to be respected," Archbishop John Wester said.

Seeking asylum in the U.S. isn’t breaking the law. Galindo Duarte’s attorney, Roxie De Santiago, said the U.S. is breaking the law by not allowing these immigrants to seek asylum once they are on U.S. soil.

"Please, Mr. President, pick up the phone and stop this, and let's all get together,” Wester said.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also released a statement condemning the Trump administration for separating families.

READ THE FULL STORY:Several speak out over separation of families at border

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