Jose Pereira came to the United States from El Salvador illegally 20 years ago. He has since worked various jobs in New Jersey, married a U.S. citizen, fathered three children who are citizens, and committed no crimes.
His recompense for building a life here: "imminent" deportation.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials recently detained Pereira while he was working a warehouse job, and ICE says his deportation is will be occurring in short order. The Jersey Journal reports his wife's reaction:
"This is something that I never thought would actually happen," said his wife, Carmen Pereira. "You have immigrants who do stuff they shouldn't, like commit crimes and stuff, and he doesn't do that."
Despite the Obama administration's penchant for deporting foreigners, the president issued a directive last summer that would seemingly help people like Pereira—unauthorized immigrants who have strong ties to the United States and have no criminal records—remain in the country.
According to Pereira's wife, the couple has tried unsuccessfully to use her U.S. citizenship to attain the same legal status for Pereira.