BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland man who is facing deportation is getting support from the community in a big way.
On Monday, hundreds in Baltimore rallied downtown calling on immigration officials to release a man who’s been detained for several months.
Guillermo Recinos-Morales has been locked up since April.
Immigration advocates are upset because while he has been here illegally, they say this a man with no criminal record, whose only crime found a better life for himself and his family.
“What do we want? Free Guillermo! When do we want it? Now!”
Hundreds of outraged immigrant advocates taking to the streets of downtown Baltimore.
Their message: ‘immigrants are welcomed here’ was directed at Baltimore’s immigration and customs enforcement office on policy that continues to devise and controversial locally and nationally.
The “Yes we can” mantra initially meant to address general immigration concerns.
Monday refocused on the case of this Annapolis man: Guillermo Recinos-Morales who was detained by immigration this past April while on his way to work.
He’s been facing deportation. Advocates are now calling for his immediate release.
And he has been here since 2005 with no criminal record. “He has been here since 20015.This is a grandfather to seven, a father of four,” says Rev. Ryan Sirmons, of the United Church of Christ of Annapolis.
Distraught family members speak out saying Recinos-Morales is a productive member of society, helping craft popular chicken sculptures seen along Annapolis’ West Street.
Daughter Astrid Recinos says he father came to the U.S. illegally to escape violence in El Salvador.
The family is learning recently that he lost a motion to reopen the order calling for deportation.
“He’s been sick. He’s getting frustrated. He doesn’t know what to do know. He doesn’t imagine his life without his family,” says daughter Astrid Recinos.
While efforts now turn on preventing the separation of the family, advocates say it’s part of a much larger battle being fought on the subject of immigration.
“We fight for Guillermo today and tomorrow we continue to fighting for all like Guillermo who deserve a chance to be here with their families,” says Lydia Walther-Rodrigue, with CASA de Maryland.
Guillermo Recinos-Morales is being detained at the Frederick County jail. WJZ did reach out to immigration for comment but did not hear back.
Attorneys are working to see if Recinos-Morales will be allowed to apply for asylum so that he can remain in the U.S.