By Joseph Wenzel IV, Erin Connolly, Kaitlyn Naples
New Haven, CT (WFSB) — A Connecticut man facing deportation and taking sanctuary at New Haven church will be allowed to go home to see his family for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Marco Reyes is a father of three from Ecuador and was scheduled to be deported in August.
On Aug. 7, Reyes, who is the sole caretaker for his family and came to the United States in 1997, took sanctuary at First and Summerfield United Methodist Church, which is located on Church Street in downtown New Haven.
Reyes has remained at First and Summerfield United Methodist Church since that date.
Reyes’ attorney filed a motion to reopen his old removal order, which said it would be too dangerous for him to return to Ecuador.
On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he will announce a reprieve in the Department of Homeland Security deportation order that will allow Reyes to leave the church on Thursday. It is unclear how long reprieve for Reyes is.
“I am very happy and I want to go to my home and celebrate with my family,” Reyes said on Wednesday.
With a motion and petition pending, the Department of Homeland Security has vowed not to enforce his deportation. Now the Reyes family is looking to enjoy being under the same roof for as long as possible.
“We don’t know for how long but we’re praying and hope for good that everything goes well,” said Fanny Reyes.
Reyes said he will celebrate Thanksgiving with his family and members of the church, which is a community that has rallied around him during his toughest days.
Reyes isn’t the only one who was granted a stay for the holiday.
Miriam Martinez, of Stamford, was also granted a stay. Earlier this week Martinez had defied orders to get on a plane and leave. On Wednesday, she learned she could spend the holiday with her family.
“This special Thanksgiving miracle will enable Miriam’s family? to celebrate together this unique American holiday. They will join families around our nation in celebrating American values– family, faith, and fairness– that enabled them to stay here. I remain in close contact with her attorney to explore all avenues to provide lasting relief from this cruel and irrational deportation,” Blumenthal said in a statement.
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