A man in Flushing, Queens, was separated from his wife and two children after being arrested during his green card interview.
Xiu Qing You, 39, has been living in the U.S. for almost 20 years. He arrived illegally in 2000 and applied for asylum.
Unfortunately, You’s claim for asylum was denied. He then received an order of deportation in 2002, but it had not been executed until he showed up for his green card interview on May 23.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents took him to his family’s shock.
“When we went there, we were very happy. I never thought this would happen,” his wife, Yu Mei Chen, told the New York Daily News. “Everything was in chaos. I couldn’t sleep at night at all. I’m on the verge of a mental collapse.”
You, who applied for permanent residency in 2015, is now facing deportation back to China. He is currently held in a New Jersey detention center.
You’s attorney, Yee Ling Poon, said that his client has no crimin al history in the U.S.
However, You fears that he, as a Roman Catholic, might be religiously persecuted in China, according to NBC.
Chen, a U.S. citizen, said that they “followed the rules step by step to get status.” But the fact that she has not seen her husband since his arrest is taking a toll on their family.
“It’s like the sky is falling on me. I don’t know what to do now. And the kids are calling for their father, asking ‘Where’s my father?’ every day,” she said.
For now, Chen is left in charge of their nail salon business in Connecticut, where she used to work long hours while You went home to take care of their kids, aged six and four. The family is reportedly exploring all possible legal avenues to get You out of detention and continue living in the US.
You’s detainment follows a string of arrests by the ICE since the Trump administration enforced a more stringent immigration policy.