Deportation case on hold for Ann Arbor man living in US for last 18 years

Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo faces deportation to Mexico

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The deportation of an Ann Arbor man who has been in the United States illegally for 18 years was planned for Wednesday, but now it's been put on hold.

Busloads of Ann Arbor Pioneer students sympathetic to Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo's cause were brought to federal court. Students said it was an interesting field trip, but there was much more at stake in the immigration battle.

The 36-year-old man is being held in Immigration and Customs custody in El Paso, Texas, as he awaits his fate.

Sanchez-Ronquillo came to the United States 18 years ago from Mexico. He works as a cook in an Ann Arbor restaurant.

Sanchez-Ronquillo met Guisela Anguiano, and they had two children. They have quietly lived in Ann Arbor with annual visits to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which hadn't been interested in deporting him until last month, when ICE cited him as an unlawfully present national of Mexico.

"We think it is clear that Mr. Ronquillo has relied on the decision year after year after year that the contract the government made with him, he could stay to shape everything, in terms of his life," his attorney, Shanta Driver, said.

But Sanchez-Ronquillo was arrested and his deportation to Mexico was set into motion.

Anguiano, through an interpreter, said she was heartbroken.

"It's terrible," Anguiano said. "I will be required to take care of house expenses and the children myself."

During lunch hour Monday at Pioneer High School, students gathered to discuss their planned protest Tuesday.

But ICE officials have a less sympathetic account, saying in 1998, they allowed Sanchez-Ronquillo to voluntarily depart the U.S. twice, and later he unlawfully re-entered the country without authorization.

In 2012, an immigration judge ordered him removed from the country, a ruling that was upheld by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Finally, after being allowed to remain free in order to finalize his departure plans and having failed to do so in a timely manner, ICE agents arrested Sanchez-Ronquillo on April 19.

His 14-year-old son, Jose, doesn't understand.

"I was just trying to know what was going on, because he didn't do anything in the United States," Jose said.

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