BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A local group is calling on immigration officials to make an exception and release an illegal immigrant after he was arrested in Baltimore.
Since the new administration has been in power, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have been detained, but there are now protests that good people are getting caught in a drag net.
Protestors in Baltimore brought the pressure to immigration and customs enforcement. They want ICE to release Jesus Peraza.
ICE says Peraza was deported in 2005, but then he re-entered illegally.
Baltimore Councilman Zeke Cohen said he committed no violent crime.
“We want ICE deporting people who are actually committing crime, drug dealing violence to come after innocent people who are raising a family, who are contributing is not what this city is looking for,” Cohen says.
Agents detained Pereza back in March. His wife was afraid to show her face but she spoke with WJZ through a translator.
“He went to drop his son off at school and they were waiting for him outside of the house,” she said through translator Katie Miller, Osi Cummunity Fellow with Casa.
Then candidate Donald Trump was vocal about his intentions regarding illegal immigration on the campaign trail.
“One of my first acts will be to get all of the drug lords, all of the bad ones. We have some bad bad people in this country that have to go out. We are going to get them out, we are going to secure the border,” Trump said last year.
From inauguration to the end of April, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has detained at least 41,000 people across the U.S. More than 470 have been detained in Maryland.
Local law enforcement across the country, including the sheriff in Harford County have said their top priority is to protect their citizens.
“We have our hands full with the heroin epidemic, with everything else we are facing on the law enforcement front, we don’t need to be doing immigration and custom’s job for them, but we work with all our federal partners on keeping Harford County safer,” Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said
Peraza’s wife is pregnant and his attorney is fighting for a release before the child is born.
“We want him to be released from detention and brought back into the community. We need them to make an exception for an exceptional person,” said attorney Jared Jaskot.
Peraza is now being held in Howard Country. His next court date is expected next Thursday.
The homeland security secretary has stated if someone is in the country illegally,they are at risk for being detained and or deported.