Town in Trump ter­ri­tory backs de­tained im­mi­grant

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - NATION & WORLD -

WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. — A South­ern Illi­nois com­mu­nity that solidly backed Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has ral­lied be­hind a Mex­i­can restau­rant man­ager who doesn’t have le­gal per­mis­sion to live in the U.S. and has been de­tained by im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials.

Let­ters of sup­port for Juan Car­los Her­nan­dez Pacheco have poured in from West Frank fort’ s mayor, po­lice chief, high school ath­letic di­rec­tor and the county pros­e­cu­tor. They de­scribe Her­nan­dez as a role model and praise his civic in­volve­ment, in­clud­ing fund­ing school schol­ar­ships, ben­e­fit din­ners for fam­i­lies in need and host­ing a law en­force­ment ap­pre­ci­a­tion event.

Her­nan­dez, 38, came to the U.S. in the 1990s but didn’t ob­tain le­gal sta­tus, ac­cord­ing to friends. He has been the man­ager of La Fi­esta Mex­i­can Restau­rant for a decade in the com­mu­nity about 100 miles south­east of St. Louis.

He was ar­rested at his home this month and re­mains in cus­tody at a U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion Cus­toms and En­force­ment fa­cil­ity out­side St. Louis.

ICE of­fi­cials did not ex­plain why Pacheco was ar­rested, but noted drunken-con­vic­tions from2007.

Some res­i­dents in the com­mu­nity of roughly 8,000 didn’t know Her­nan­dez lacked le­gal sta­tus in the U.S. un­til word spread of his ar­rest. Though the com­mu­nity largely backed Trump— who­has made an ag­gres­sive stance on im­mi­gra­tion cen­tral to his agenda and has promised to de­port mil­lions of im­mi­grants who have no per­mis­sion to live here— many res­i­dents of West Frankfort said Her­nan­dez’s case has com­pli­cated their views on im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy.

Her­nan­dez’ at­tor­ney is push­ing for him to be freed on bond un­til his case can be heard. His wife, El­iz­a­beth Her­nan­dez, and three chil­dren are U.S. cit­i­zens.

Des­per­ate search in Syria: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/ GETTY-AFP

Res­cuers look for sur­vivors in the town of Ariha on Mon­day. Airstrikes on rebel-held Idlib prov­ince killed at least 11 peo­ple, op­po­si­tion ac­tivists said, in the lat­est spasm of violence to mar U.N.-bro­kered peace talks in Geneva.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.