NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – Supporters of a Meriden man who was ordered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to fly back to his native Ecuador rallied outside the New Haven church where Marco Reyes has taken refuge, and were joined by Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
Blumenthal was among the speakers at New Haven’s First and Summerfield United Methodist Church, where Reyes has taken refuge, on Monday. “ICE should be focusing on people who pose a danger to the United States,” Blumenthal stated. “People with criminal records, people who aren’t threat to the community, not people like Marco Reyes, who is raising a family, he’s lived here for two decades, he’s worked hard, and he’s payed taxes.”
The deportation of immigrants has increased since President Trump took office. The Justice Department says 57,000 people were ordered to leave the U.S. in the first six months of the Trump administration, up thirty percent over the same period last year.
Blumenthal has been a vocal critic of Trump’s immigration policy, and the Senator issued a statement regarding Reyes on Tuesday, which included a direct call out of Trump and his administration’s policy.
“There must be fair and effective enforcement of all laws in accordance with due process… but strong law enforcement must also reflect humane and compassionate values, including the unbreakable bond between a parent and child,” the statement read. “I am outraged and heartbroken by the arbitrary and callous decision to deport Marco Reyes. His plight today is a symptom of Trump’s cruel and inhumane immigration policies that lack all sense of reason and rationality.”
Reyes, a father of three, has lived and worked in Connecticut for twenty years. He says he fears for his life if he returns to Ecuador.