An undocumented father in Texas who is desperately hoping to remain in the United States with his family but is facing an imminent deportation is hoping to pull off an upset by employing a never-before-used legal strategy.
Lawyers representing Juan Rodriguez filed a federal lawsuit on Monday insisting that deporting the devout Seventh-Day Adventist Christian would violate the religious beliefs of Rodriguez and his family, KHOU-TV reported. That approach has never been used in an immigration case, Rodriguez’s attorneys claim.
Rodriguez – who hails from El Salvador and has a wife and three daughters who all live in the United States — was recently informed by immigration officials that he is scheduled to be deported on June 29. He does not plan to go without a fight, as Rodriguez believes he has a rightful claim to remain in the U.S.
According to the lawsuit, Rodriguez has lived stateside for more than two decades, works as an auto mechanic, dutifully pays his taxes, holds a work visa, and has been reporting to ICE as required. His wife obtained her citizenship in 2010, his eldest daughter is a naturalized citizen, and his other two daughters are citizens by birth.
They argue that if Rodriguez is deported, their religion would compel his wife and three children to follow him to El Salvador, one of the world’s most violent countries.
“(Criminals in El Salvador) are gonna see four American citizens coming back, they’re gonna believe they have money,” immigration attorney Rael Gonzalez argued. “And (Rodriguez and his family) don’t know this country. They don’t have any place to go to.”
Gonzalez filed a Motion to Reopen and Request for Stay of Deportation with the Immigration Court on Friday, Breitbart Texas reported. In the courtroom, he plans to emphasize the current state of strife and unrest in El Salvador, as well as the family’s general unfamiliarity with the country in its current state, as reasons why Rodriguez should not be deported.