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Community rallies to fight deportation of pastor

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When a person enters the country illegally, being arrested for any crime can alert authorities to that person's undocumented status. Certain crimes in Maryland can lead to deportation even for those who may be in the middle of the process of trying to stay in the United States. For one man, turning his life around and becoming a pastor may not be enough to fight a deportation that is pending because of criminal convictions that occurred years ago.

The man came to the United States from Honduras in the mid-1990s. At one point, a few years after entering the country, he was arrested for drunk driving. Then, in 1999, he was arrested and pleaded guilty to a charge of record tampering based on a charge of buying a Social Security number. These convictions stayed on his record.

The man has fought a legal battle to prevent being removed from the United States for over 16 years. He has recently been arrested by immigration officials. All appeals have been denied, and the man may very well be deported soon. The community and his wife contend the man is a much better man than he was in those early years and that he is an asset to the community due to his work as a pastor.

Cases involving maneuvers to fight deportation can be extremely complex when they involve incidents or crimes that occurred years ago. Despite a person's moves to better his or her life, past brushes with the law may factor into a deportation case in Maryland. Anyone concerned with how his or her past may impact a deportation case may benefit from seeking up-to-date advice and guidance from an immigration attorney.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "Iowa Community Rallies Around Max Villatoro, A Pastor Facing Deportation To Honduras", Kourtney Liepelt, March 9, 2015

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