A marriage interview at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in Miami came to an abrupt end when the husband was unexpectedly arrested by ICE.
María Eugenia Hernández and Oscar Hernández waited three years for the interview portion of Oscar’s citizenship application. But questioning came to a halt when María was asked to step out of the office.
Twenty minutes later, she was told that her husband had a deportation order from long ago and had been arrested by ICE.
“I went to the immigration appointment with a lot of confidence because it was an interview. I never imagined they would take my husband away under arrest,” María told the Miami Herald. “We are trying to do the right thing.”
This is not the first arrest during a marriage interview in South Florida. In fact, Oscar is one of four of known arrests, Lisa Lehner, a senior litigation attorney with Americans for Immigrant Justice, told WTVT Wednesday.
Though the marriage interview was a required portion of Oscar’s citizenship application, those with pending deportation orders can legally be detained by the agency at “any time,” according to an ICE spokesperson.
“ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States,” spokesman Nestor Yglesias told the Herald.
Read it via Newsweek here.