DENVER — A father of four who moved to Colorado more than a decade ago to pursue the American Dream faces deportation Tuesday.
Friday, his family, along with supporters, rallied in Denver calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop the deportation.
Victor Hugo Sanchez got caught driving without a license–and that’s how the trouble started.
What’s happening to him is happening to thousands in Colorado.
These are the moments, playing with his children, Sanchez worries will vanish.
His heart is heavy as the clock ticks toward Tuesday. It’s a day that could change everything.
“If I have to leave, it will be the end of something. It will break up my family,” says Sanchez in Spanish.
The father of four kids–Citlaly, 10, Kimberley, 8, Ashley, 7, and Victor Jr., 3–faces deportation.
“What I understand is that maybe my dad is going to move to Mexico, get deported,” says Citlaly, about the situation facing her father.
The 40-year-old moved to Colorado from Vera Cruz 14 years ago for a better life.
And indeed that’s what he found.
He’s a professional landscaper, and he met his wife who gave him four American-born children.
“They are my life. If I was alone in the U.S., no family, and the government said, ‘You have to leave,’ I’d accept it and leave. It wouldn’t matter. Now, I am fighting for my family, to keep my family together,” he says.
And he’s not alone in the fight.
Colorado’s faith community, which has banded together as Together Colorado, gathered outside the federal courthouse to support Sanchez and ask ICE to stop his deportation.
They say he’s not the criminal immigrant the feds focus on removing.
The consequences seem too much for his kids to face.
Will they lose their dad, or will they move with him and lose the only land they know?
Their parents say they still have not decided what the family will do if Sanchez is deported. Will they stay or will they go? Each day they reach a different conclusion. Both of them, painful.
“That’s what I want for my daughters are careers. I dream big–that they are doctors, astronauts. In Mexico, they won’t have those opportunities,” says Sanchez’ wife, Erika Munoz.
And the kids might also not have their father–and everything that word means.
“He means to me is, he’s the best dad. He’s funny. He plays with us,” says Citlaly.
ICE released this statement today:
ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of convicted criminal aliens, fugitives, recent illegal border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States. ICE’s enforcement approach is enhancing public safety in communities around the country. The agency exercises prosecutorial discretion, on a case-by-case basis, as necessary to focus our resources on these priorities.
Sanchez’ hearing is at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Denver Federal Courthouse.