Man Fighting Deportation to be Representative Gutierrez’ Guest at State of the Union Address

Congressman Has Been Helping South Carolina Father Fight Deportation Case For More Than A Year

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–February 11, 2013. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) announced today that he would bring Gabino Sanchez, a South Carolina father and husband fighting deportation, to be his guest at the President’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday in the Capitol.  Sanchez, of Ridgeland, SC, is a husband and father of two U.S. citizen children who entered the country when he was 15 years old and has been working and living peacefully in the U.S. ever since.  Because he is undocumented, Mr. Sanchez has received multiple misdemeanor charges for driving without a license by local police over the past ten years. 

The Congressman met Sanchez in November 2011 and pledged to help him fight deportation.  The Congressman accompanied Sanchez to his first supervision appointment with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Charleston, S.C. to ask that his deportation case be closed and attended two subsequent hearings (March 12, and May 15, 2012) before an immigration judge in Charlotte, North Carolina

(For additional background, see: “Rep. Luis Gutierrez Makes Example of Deportation Case,” CNN Early Start interview with Soledad O’Brien, 3/12/12; “Are President Obama’s Deportation Changes Real?” Rep. Gutierrez article for Huffington Post, 3/12/12; and “Gutierrez: My Fight For Gabino Sanchez And The President’s Deportation Policy Is Not Over,” Press Release, 3/13/12).

In May 2012, Sanchez was granted a 12 month continuance in his case as he pursued relief from deportation, which under current immigration laws, allows him a permit to work legally and apply for a driver’s license, which he has done.  This month, Sanchez was granted an additional month to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the special deportation relief process set up by the Obama Administration for immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. 

Representative Gutierrez sees the deportation case against Sanchez as a test of the President’s deportation policies, and especially the guidelines, announced by President Obama in 2011, that are supposed to prioritize deportations of immigrants who have committed serious crimes like rape and murder and apply “prosecutorial discretion” to close deportation cases against immigrants with deep ties to the United States, U.S. citizen children, and no significant criminal history. 

Sanchez is in the process of applying for DACA and, in addition to sitting in the Gallery for the President’s speech, is participating in a forum with other immigrant workers, Congressman Gutierrez, and other Members of Congress taking place on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. ET.