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Deportation order ends for LA father who was arrested outside his daughter’s school

Esmeralda Fabián Romero | August 11, 2017

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Romulo Avelica-González with two of his daughters.(Courtesy: NDLON)

The deportation order for a Los Angeles father, Romulo Avelica-González, has been removed by the Board of Immigration Appeals and he could be released by the end of the month.

His attorney, Alan Diamante, said Avelica-González still has a pending immigration case that has been returned to a local immigration court, including his pending U visa application. Resolving the case could take years because of the immigration court proceedings backlog.

The U visa protects undocumented victims of violent crimes who cooperate with law enforcement. Diamante said Avelica-González’s wife, Norma Avelica, was a victim of a crime that occurred in Los Angeles in 2016. He declined to discuss the case further as it may still be under investigation. But he explained that Avelica-González can be granted the U visa because it protects the petitioner and close family members.

He declined to clarify Norma Avelica’s status, but he said both are eligible for this type of visa.

“It could take years, but during the whole time (during the process) he will be able to stay and have a work authorization that would allow him to provide for his family,” Diamante told LA School Report in a phone interview Friday.

Avelica-González’s case drew national attention after he was arrested in February by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials after dropping off his 12-year-old daughter, Yuleni, at a Lincoln Heights charter middle school, Academia Avance. Another daughter, Fatima, caught the arrest on her phone, and the video went viral.

Diamante said his client’s case would not have received so much support from the community if it weren’t for the actions taken by Academia Avance’s executive director, Ricardo Mireles, and other school administrators.

The attorney will request Avelica-González be released at his next hearing on Aug. 30. If the request is granted by the judge, he could be released the same day.

Avelica-González, 49, emigrated to this country 26 years ago from Nayarit, México. He had a DUI in 2008 and a conviction for receipt of stolen property after getting a faulty vehicle registration. Both misdemeanors were settled in June.

“This is my country; I have roots and family here. And today I am grateful beyond words that the court has prevented ICE from deporting me,” said Avelica-González at the Adelanto Detention Center in San Bernardino County in a statement released Monday.

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