A man arrested by immigration officials in February while dropping his daughter off at a school in Highland Park no longer faces immediate deportation.
Rómulo Avélica-González was set to be eligible for deportation Monday but –as reported by the Los Angeles Times– the Board of Immigration Appeals instead granted a request from Avelica-Gonzalez’ attorney for an emergency stay of removal.
LAist reports that the top immigration appeals court vacated the deportation order. Avelica-Gonzalez is still in deportation proceedings but his case now returns to a local immigration court. That’s a process that could take years.
Avélica-González was dropping one of his four daughters off at school in Highland Park in February when immigration officers approached him. He was detained and a video of his arrest recorded by one of his other children went viral online.
Supporters of Avélica-Gonzalez –who has been in the country for over 25 years while working as a cook and lives in Lincoln Heights– criticized federal immigration enforcement for being too aggressive.
Avélica-González was convicted in 1998 of receiving stolen car tags, which at the time made him ineligible to stay in the country, the Times reports. The law has since changed. In 1998 a judge issued an order to deport Avélica-González, but now that order is being questioned by his attorney.
Avélica-González is being held at a detention center and is waiting on a hearing that could lead to his release. That’s set for Aug. 30.
Photo above: Rómulo Avélica-González in undated family photo. Courtesy of NDLON.
Editor’s note: This article was updated Friday 8/11/17.