OSSINING, NY — It has been four days since Diego Puma Macancela was taken into ICE custody. His mother, Rosa Macancela, was taken into custody five days ago. Their friends, family and community are looking for answers and doing what they can to get them home.
"He's really scared. He didn't do anything bad. Anytime he's calling he says I don't know why I'm here," said Diego's cousin, Gaby Macancela.
On the day Diego was supposed to attend his high school prom in Ossining, New York, U.S. Immigration and Customs agents came for him at his family home. He and his mother have been detained ever since and face deportation back to Ecuador.
By nearly all accounts, Diego and his mother should have been a success story. After escaping their native country of Ecuador in 2014, they've done everything they can to earn legal status in the United States. They attended every immigration hearing, had working permits and social security numbers. They were both working.
Diego also attending high school in Ossining, NY. While his future looked bright, today he is left feeling uncertain about his future and fearful about returning to his native country of Ecuador.
A petition was filed Monday on behalf of Diego and his mother. They now wait for a judge to hear their case, while mother and son remain separated in two different detention centers in two different states.