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Detained LI immigrant deported to Guatemala

Eber Garcia Vasquez, an Elmont resident, was detained

Eber Garcia Vasquez, an Elmont resident, was detained Aug. 24, 2017, by federal immigration authorities and deported in early September to his native Guatemala. He is holding his granddaughter in this family photo. Photo Credit: Family Photo

A Guatemalan immigrant who resided in Elmont has been deported to his homeland despite protests from relatives, union members and politicians who rallied in his support last week in lower Manhattan.

An immigration attorney for Eber Garcia Vasquez, 54, sought unsuccessfully to have the case reconsidered after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acted on an existing immigration order that followed denials of an asylum request and related appeals.

A spokeswoman for ICE confirmed Thursday that Garcia Vasquez “was removed to his native country without incident.”

Teamsters Joint Council 16 said his family got a call from him Wednesday saying he was already in Guatemala. That was the day after last-ditch appeals to stop his deportation were denied by ICE and the Board of Immigration Appeals, the union said.

Garcia Vasquez entered the United States illegally in 1988, fleeing aggression from authorities in his village, his lawyer has said. He was detained Aug. 24 after checking in with immigration officers as part of an earlier deal to let him stay in the United States.

Teamsters Local 813 had taken up the cause, saying Garcia Vasquez was a valued employee for a medical waste company. Its members were among supporters at the demonstration outside immigration offices in lower Manhattan.

The case “highlights the lack of transparency and due process that immigrants have in these cases,” said Alex Moore, spokesman for Teamsters Joint Council 16, a confederation of locals that represents 120,000 workers in downstate New York. “The only confirmation we had that he was not in New York . . . was when he called from Guatemala.”

The union said it will set up a donation fund for Garcia Vasquez’s wife and four children. Zachary Sanders, his lawyer, plans to pursue his application for legal residency.

“I am saddened, and frankly shocked that Eber was deported so quickly,” said George Miranda, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16. “This is happening to thousands of immigrants across the country and the inhumanity is obvious in each story. Today a family was torn apart, and now is without a breadwinner.”

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