SE Portland man legally in U.S. now in ICE custody facing deport - KPTV - FOX 12

SE Portland man legally in U.S. now in ICE custody facing deportation

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The partner of Luis Garcia said the southeast Portland man living legally in the U.S. for years should not be facing deportation charges following a conviction on drug charges. (KPTV) The partner of Luis Garcia said the southeast Portland man living legally in the U.S. for years should not be facing deportation charges following a conviction on drug charges. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A southeast Portland man is facing deportation after a recent conviction for drug possession, even though he’s been living in the United States legally for years.

According to a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Luis Garcia was placed in “removal proceedings” and remains in ICE custody pending a decision in immigration court.

Sean Sexton, Garcia’s partner, said ICE agents came to take Garcia from his home unannounced, at 6:00 in the morning.

“It was a surprise, it was emotional,” Sexton recalled. “They took him in his PJs. I was putting socks and shoes on him before they took him.”

Sexton said Garcia’s drug conviction was the result of a domestic violence situation between Garcia and his then-husband, during which Garcia tried to keep the drugs away from his husband, who was addicted to methamphetamine.

Because Garcia briefly handled the drugs himself, he was also charged with illegal possession, Sexton explained.

“He got wrapped up in a bad situation over a drug-addicted husband that he loved and cared for,” he said.

Garcia was convicted in August, and sentenced to 18 months probation.

Sexton said Garcia suspected the conviction might affect his immigration status and attempted to request a hearing to determine his future in the country, but Garcia was instead arrested and detained.

Garcia’s attorney, David Shamloo, said his client had a job and no prior offenses.

Sexton said he is only able to speak with Garcia regularly over the phone and has driven to visit him at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma every Sunday.

“I very much understand why an organization like ICE exists, but I don’t think it’s well applied in this case,” he said.

Amy Herzfeld-Copple, a spokesperson for Basic Rights Oregon, which works to ensure equal treatment for the LGBQT community, has been advocating for Garcia’s release.

“We think the situation really highlights how inhumane and broken our immigration system is,” Herzfeld-Copple said. “This certainly speaks to the uncertainty and the fear that communities are feeling right now.”

Sexton said he is working closely with Garcia’s attorney, who is trying to schedule a hearing for his client, holding out hope Garcia may still be allowed to return home to Portland.

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