Family fears Bay City man could be deported after being detained - WNEM TV 5

Family fears Bay City man could be deported after being detained by ICE officers

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

Family and friends of a Mid-Michigan man fear he may soon be deported to Cuba.

Immigration and Customs has stepped up enforcement recently. That enforcement led to the recent detainment of a Bay City man.

“Kind of distraught, honestly going ‘oh God, what’s going on here,’” said Corky Hardy, Ruben Mesa’s stepson.

Mesa, 61, went to Detroit earlier this week for his annual review of his visa card. It is something he has done for years, but Monday was different. He was detained by ICE officers and sent to Kalamazoo where he was still being held on Friday.

“We tried contacting them, they haven’t contacted us back,” Hardy said.

Mesa called his girlfriend Monya Alvarez from the detention center during TV5’s interview with her.

“They just arrested me for nothing, no reason,” he said.

Mesa said he doesn’t know what’s going to happen next.

“They haven’t been talking to me,” he said.

Mesa has lived in the United States for more than 30 years. He was married for 27 years, but his wife Marlene passed away a couple years ago.

Alvarez can’t believe her boyfriend is being detained.

“I’m just hoping I can wake up from a bad dream and they let Ruben come home. I’m totally lost and depressed without him,” she said.

You can tell all the love and support for Mesa by the number of people who showed up at his house on Friday.

“He was granted political asylum by, I believe it was Carter who was president. He’s told me that story too. He’s been through hell. The man does not need to go back there,” Alvarez said.

Family said Mesa served time in jail years ago, but he hasn’t had any trouble with the law since then. He worked in the restaurant business for years before getting hurt and going on disability.

Family and friends worry the stress could put a big toll on Mesa’s health.

“A man of his age should not be going through this situation at all,” Hardy said.

TV has reached out repeatedly to the Immigration Customs Enforcement office in Detroit for information regarding Mesa, but the agency will only acknowledge it has received our questions. We have not received any answers yet.

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