Rudy Blanco came to the U.S. from Cuba when he was only 8 years old. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Blanco left Cuba with his parents and sister on his grandfather’s shrimping boat in 1980 during the Mariel boat lift. They made it to Key West and lived with relatives in Miami until they could get on their feet. Now, 37 years, one marriage, and two adult children later, Blanco has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and it currently being held in a detention pod in Crawfordville, Fla. awaiting deportation back to Cuba.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports that Blanco’s detention is tied to a crime committed 20 years ago. In the ’90s, Blanco, who had a landscaping business, was busted for selling cocaine in Tavernier, Fla. The crime was downgraded and the adjudication was withheld and Blanco served his year on probation without incident. However, in 2005, an immigration judge ordered his deportation due to the cocaine possession, only to grant him a stay as long as he checked in with ICE. During his first check-in with ICE under the Trump administration, who Blanco and his wife both supported during November’s election, Blanco was detained.
“After full due process, Mr. Blanco received a Feb. 3, 2005, final order of removal from an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review,” Tammy Spicer, a spokeswoman for ICE, told Tallahassee Democrat. “He was arrested May 9, 2017, by (ICE) and ICE intends to remove Mr. Blanco in compliance with the court’s order.”
According to Tallahassee Democrat, the Blancos had some worries about Trump’s immigration orders but ultimately thought that Trump’s stance would improve Blanco’s situation. They admit that they still support Trump and that they blame Obama for repealing the ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy that allowed for Cuban refugees to stay in the U.S. without punishment. The reason ICE is now deporting Blanco back to Cuba is due to Trump’s immigration objectives, which make immigration enforcement much more strict and Obama’s reversal of the ‘wet foot, dry foot policy, which led to Cuba accepting deportees.
His family has created a GoFundMe page to help save Blanco from deportation.
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