QUEENS — It appears to be only hours until the Villacis family is torn torn apart, with their father and husband, Juan, facing deportation Friday morning.
“Maybe in the future, we’ll be together, but I don’t know when,” said his wife, Liany Guerrero.
Guerrero is fighting back the tears, trying to be strong for her twin daughters, but knows that her beloved husband of 29 years will most likely be deported to his native Ecuador early Friday morning.
The family of four entered this country legally in 2001, seeking political asylum from Colombia.
They built a life in Woodhaven Queens, paying taxes, buying a home and checking in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement once a year.
But a change in administration meant a change in the rules.
“It doesn’t matter if you are Republican or Democrat, this shouldn’t happen to anyone,” said daughter Liany Villacis. “It is very traumatic.”
The daughters, both here under DACA, worry about their mother’s fate as well. She was ordered to buy a one-way ticket back to her native Colombia for Jan. 15.
“We can’t get used to this dynamic of three,” said daughter Maria Villacis. “It might just be the two of us,” she added
The immigration rights group Make The Road New York tried to help the family as did Sen. Charles Schumer’s and Rep. Nydia Velasquez’s offices.
Close to 10,000 people signed a petition but, still, the deportations are moving forward.
“This is a perfect example of a family being torn apart who pursued the American Dream,” said Luba Cortes, a spokesperson for Make The Road New York, an immigrants rights group.
As Maria Villacis tries to be optimistic, she says this is just one chapter in the book and there are several more to be written.