tags: , , , AVEF, Press Releases

Manuel Gámez, Whose Daughter Died of Suicide, Granted 30-Day Deportation Stay

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After tremendous support from advocates at Make the Road New York, the office of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and the tireless efforts of his attorney Anibal Romero, Manuel Gámez learned last night he received a 30-day stay of deportation. He is applying asylum claim and the reprieve will enable his request to be reviewed, according to the New York Daily News. 

Today, at 12pm ET, Make the Road New York will be hosting a press conference with the family. RSVP to mediacontact@maketheroadny.org for more information. 

Last week, the New York Times revealed the heartbreaking story of Honduran refugees Manuel Gámez and his daughter Heydi Gámez García. Heydi was allowed to enter the U.S. on an asylum claim, but her father was not and in her desperation to be united with her father, Heydi’s attempt at suicide put her on life-support in a New York hospital. Manuel was allowed to temporarily enter the United States to say goodbye and take his daughter off life-support, but originally was expected to be forced to return immediately to life-threatening conditions in Honduras. 

According to Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice: “Unfortunately, Manuel and Heydi’s story is but one tragic tale that puts a human face on similar tragedies that go unreported every single day. Among 11 million or so undocumented immigrants, many, like Heydi and Manuel, came to America as refugees fleeing violence, corruption and gangs. Like Heydi, Manuel should’ve been allowed to pursue his asylum claim and remain here next to his young daughter. But our broken system kept them apart leading to this horrible ending. It is past time we reform our immigration laws so tragedies like this one don’t continue to happen. 

We are grateful to Make the Road New York, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and all of the advocates who made calls and helped save Manuel temporarily from even more heartbreak. But this case is not over. We call on our government to finally extend status to Manuel Gámez as a matter of law and human decency. Our thoughts are with Manuel and Heydi’s entire family — and all those impacted by the cruelty of the Trump administration.”