Ann Arbor resident and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo is hoping to be released while the Board of Immigration Appeals considers whether to reopen his immigration case.
Supporters and family members of Sanchez-Ronquillo rallied outside of the ICE field office in Detroit on Tuesday as his attorney submitted a request for his release.
Shanta Driver is the attorney representing Sanchez-Ronquillo. She says the Board of Immigration Appeals is faced with a significant backlog of cases, meaning it could be years before there’s any decision in her client's case. That's before even considering the possibility of a lengthy appeals process.
“[We’re asking ICE to] let this man go, let him go on with his life while the legal process is proceeding in its ordinary, slow way,” Driver said.
Sanchez-Ronquillo illegally entered the United States more than 20 years ago. He has lived in Ann Arbor with his family for most of his time here and is a father to two sons. Sanchez-Ronquillo has been detained by ICE since April.
His youngest son, 11-year-old Charlie, says he’s only been able to speak to his dad on the phone since Sanchez-Ronquillo was detained.
“It’s been hard without him,” Charlie Sanchez-Ronquillo said. “My dad is really nice. He’s funny, and I just miss playing with him.”
People being detained by ICE for longer than a specified removal period can request to be released. In an email, ICE spokesperson Khaalid Walls that ICE reviews each such request on a case-by-case basis.
Read the ICE policy on continuing to hold detainees beyond the period of removal and the criteria for a detainee's release here.
Driver says there’s no clear timeline for when ICE has to respond to the request, but she hopes to hear something within a month.