WOODHAVEN, Queens —Liany Guerrero, a native of Colombia, has just been granted a 30 day extension, for health reasons, to stay in the US, to live in the Woodhaven home she loves, with her 22-year-old twin daughters in a country she always wanted to call home.
“They see my mother as a number,” her daughter, Liany Villacis, told PIX11. “It is frustrating and disappointing,” she added.
The Villacis family entered this country legally in 2001 seeking political asylum from Colombia.
When that application was denied, they checked in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement once a year every year for the last 17 and were granted yearlong extensions on their Stay of Removal. The Villacis built a life in this country, buying a Woodhaven home and paying taxes.
But last November, when their father, Juan Villacis, a physical therapist, went to his yearly ICE checkin, the change in Administration meant a change in the rules and Juan was deported to his native Ecuador.
“I feel really sad,” Liany Guerrero, the mother, told PIX 11. “I try to do things with my daughters, but I always think of him.”
Now both daughters, who are here under the DACA program, worry about their own fate as well as their mother’s and Father’s.
“Our DACA expires in May, there’s a lot of uncertainty,” Maria Villacis told PIX11.
And they all worry about so many other immigrants as well.
“What’s going in right now is not humane,” Liany Villacis told PIX11. “It’s not right to just rip a family apart.”
The family is hoping Juan Villacis’ appeal to the Board of Immigration will go his way and that he can eventually return to the US.