Father of 5 being deported, family pleas for help
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS - Praying for a miracle tonight at this Fort Myers church as a family fights to stay together. A father of five is facing deportation after a becoming the victim of a car wreck. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason is standing by to show you what's at stake.
Maulilio Mendez is set to be deported back to guatemala in about a week, his wife and five children now calling on the president himself to keep that from happening.
7 year old Ashley Mendez holding a sign saying she wants her daddy to come home. She's one of five children left behind when 30 year old Maulilio Mendez was arrested for not being a US citizen. His wife, Gloria, hoping this vigil at the Unitarian Church of Fort Myers will help raise awareness.
Mike Mason: "What do you want to achieve by doing this?"
Gloria Mendez: "I want him to stay and to be with me and the kids because the kids need him."
In February of 2012 Mendez was driving to church when his car was struck by a motorcycle.
When police asked for his ID they found he was here illegally...he was then arrested and sent to an immigration prison in Broward County, his wife left behind to take care of the kids.
Santiago Garcia: "She's going to have to find work and find someone to babysit her children and imagine having to pay a babysitter for 5 kids."
Santiago Garcia came to the U.S. illegally when he was only 3 years old. He now fights to protect undocumented families and says President Obama has promised to reform immigration, and Mendez's case should be considered. Santiago also calling on Immigrations Customs and Enforcement - or ICE - to take a second look at Mendez's situation.
Santiago Garcia: "Hopefully by doing more public events and by people actually calling ICE and sharing the petition we'll be able to buy him more time."
Mendez's wife says her kids need their father - something officials will ultimately have to decide.
Mike Mason: "How was Christmas this time?”
Ashley Mendez: "Not good because he was not here, we always celebrate with him but now we're not because he always puts the lights on Christmas with the tree on but now we couldn't, now we didn't."
Mendez's family says he was here legally 6 years ago and his attorney mishandled his paperwork causing him to lose his immigration status.
Just 30 minutes ago we got a call telling us officials decided to release Mendez tonight.
But at this point....we can't officially confirm this with ICE - we'll of course follow up on it tomorrow.....and let you know.