Both Perlmutter, Bennet offer bills for ICE detainee
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, both Colorado Democrats, have each introduced legislation in support of a Denver-area father facing deportation after he was detained by immigration officials last month during what he thought was the last process in getting his green card.
It’s unclear what impact the measures — known as private bills — will have on the case of Melecio Andazola Morales.
The U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under President Donald Trump, changed its policy in May to stop deferring action in the wake of such legislation, often a last-ditch effort by federal lawmakers to halt a deportation.
Andazola Morales’ case has garnered national attention, much of it stemming from activism by his daughter — Yale senior Viviana Andazola Marquez — who has been calling for his release.
Andazola Morales was at an interview with an immigration agent Oct. 12, believing he was about to be granted U.S. residency, his supporters say, when he was detained.
“Mr. Andazola was previously deported from the United States in March 1997,” ICE spokesman Gregory Palmore said via email in an earlier statement to The Denver Post. “His previous removal order has been reinstated, and he remains in ICE custody pending his removal from the United States.”
In a statement Tuesday, Hans Meyer, Andazola Morales’ immigration attorney, said the outcome of the case could have farreaching ramifications.
“Melecio Andazola Morales is the test case that will determine whether local ICE still has any discretion to join local and federal elected officials, thousands of faith leaders, students, professors, and community members, or whether the Trump administration has completely closed the book on any sense of humanity.”