A Michigan man, who helped law enforcement officials to track down a suspected man who pulled a gun on him, was detained and later deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In 2014, Noe and Jose Lopez-Mulato, both brothers and undocumented Mexican immigrants, cooperated with Michigan police and prosecutors after a man started heckling Noe and verbally abused him as he played soccer at community soccer game in Detroit.
After the man’s uncalled for disturbance, an argument began between the two and later escalated. The man pulled a gun and opened fire at Noe but fortunately missed him. Jose, who was watching the game from the stands, then jumped in the field to protect his brother.
Citing their cooperation in the case, the brothers entered into eligibility to become legal citizens of the United States. However, things didn’t turn out their way — far from it.
Last month, ICE agents tracked down Noe and eventually deported him. He had pending applications that were submitted so he could receive a special visa that would have allowed him stay in the country.
Noe was handcuffed by agents when he was on his way to his son’s school.
“They just said, 'We have to take your dad.' He said that he loves everybody. I want him to come back. He takes care of our family,” said Randy, Noe’s 10-year-old son, said of his father's arrest.
He was deported to Mexico five days later on Oct. 23. Four days later, Jose was also arrested.
Noe was 17 when he entered the United States from Mexico. He struggled most of his life and switched various jobs to make a living. Documents revealed that he paid all his taxes on time and never received any sort of government assistance.
In 2007, Noe discovered that he had been living in the U.S. illegally and he voluntarily left the country but returned two years later. However, his return triggered a deportation order. The order was never acted upon since then but was activated this year.
“He's the head of the family. He's the one that pays the bills, takes them out to eat, to soccer games, practices ... and whenever he can, he wants to be helpful to others. It's really scaring us. ICE is just waiting for people to come out of their houses,” said Cyndy Garcia, Noe’s niece.
Michael Harrison, Noe’s attorney who intervened in the case for free, said, “I’m livid. Look around you. These are good, decent people. This is the backbone of our country. What kind of message is this sending to this community? To me the message is 'Stay in the shadows. Don't cooperate with police.’”
Following Trump’s crackdown on immigrants, the number of arrests made by ICE agents has gone up drastically. The officers have reportedly arrested undocumented residents from their workplaces, their homes and even outside the courthouses, creating an aura of fear.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters