Rep. Ritchie Torres calls on ICE to stop Bronx man's deportation
Rep. Ritchie Torres is calling on ICE to "end the terror" in the case of Javier Castillo Maradiaga, a Honduran immigrant in the Bronx who Torres says could be deported at any moment.
Maradiaga's deportation was delayed twice, most recently on Friday. His lawyer says he could be deported as early as Monday morning.
In a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Torres and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demanded a halt to the deportation. They also call for ICE to adhere to President Joe Biden's executive order -- a 100-day moratorium on most deportations.
Torres says Maradiaga, who is a former DACA recipient, was flown back to New York for less than 48 hours before returning to Louisiana where he is being held at a detention center.
In front of Bronx Borough Hall on Sunday, Torres held a press conference and took aim at ICE as a last-ditch effort alongside Maradiaga's mother, Alma.
"What ICE is doing is cruel and corrupt," he said. "And even though Joe Biden is the president of the United States, ICE continues to operate as though Donald Trump is still president."
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday, stopping President Biden from enforcing the ban on deportations for 14 days.
Torres called ICE a "rogue agency."
In a statement, an ICE official tells News 12, "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is in compliance with the temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Jan. 26."
Immigration lawyer Rebecca Press said ICE has the power to release Maradiaga.
"ICE has the discretion to stop specific deportations -- they have always had that discretion," she said.
ICE says Maradiaga entered the country illegally in 2002 when he was 7 years old. He was turned over to ICE in December 2019 after a local arrest in which charges were dismissed.
Alma says she isn't backing down.
"I wait for Javier to be home every single minute, every single second of my life, says Alma.