Westchester high school student, mother face deportation
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Instead of going to his prom last night, a high school student from Westchester County was taken into federal custody.
Diego Puma Macancela, 19, came to the United States from Ecuador two years ago. He crossed the border illegally with his mother but his family said he was in the process of becoming legal. He had a valid driver's license, a work permit, and was attending Ossining High School while working two jobs.
Gabriella Macancela, his cousin, said ICE agents took him away from her home in Ossining Thursday morning. ICE agents detained Diego's mother on Wednesday. An online petition to keep them in the U.S. has already garnered more 1,200 signatures.
Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity said that her village has a large immigrant population and that these actions undermine local law enforcement's good relations with residents.
In a statement, an ICE spokesperson said that agents arrested Diego because of an immigration judge's final order of removal back in November.
"Contrary to a statement issued from the Ossining mayor's office, local police received prior notification that ICE would be in the local area conducting targeted enforcement actions," spokesperson Rachael Yong Yow said.
Diego's family said his mother missed an important hearing due to a miscommunication with her lawyer. Unbeknownst to the family, the final deportation notice was then issued. Now Gabriella said she hopes and prays Diego will come home here where she said he truly belongs.
Both Diego and his mother are now awaiting deportation back to Ecuador. When that will be is unclear.
The family has planned a rally outside Manhattan's immigration office for Monday at 10:30 a.m.