Both Perl­mut­ter, Ben­net of­fer bills for ICE de­tainee

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul

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.”

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