Sharai Martinez said on Sunday evening she has been powering through even though, at times, she can get "low on hope."
Her father, real estate developer Luis Martinez, has been in ICE custody since January 16 when he was detained outside his office on Front Street in New Paltz.
At a rally and letter-writing event at the Martinez family's restaurant, La Charla, Sharai spoke with Spectrum News about the new world in which her family is living while they await updates from attorneys about Luis's case.
"Just waking up and not seeing my dad in the morning, and him not saying goodbye to me before I go to school, is really different and really hard," Sharai said.
An email to New Paltz Deputy Supervisor Dan Torres from ICE Community Relations Officer Sonia Thomas informed that Martinez was detained because he traveled in and out of Mexico twice, which he did not have legal permission to do.
Luis reiterated during a visit at Orange County Correctional on Friday that he had been working for years to become legal like the rest of his family, and awaiting word on his latest application for a U-Visa.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the family's restaurant was packed with people writing heart-shaped letters to boost Luis's morale and signing a petition calling for his release.
"The difference is, here in New Paltz in our community, when this happens, you get a room filled like this," Torres said while standing on a chair addressing the more than 150 in attendance. "And that's important."
Sharai said she wants the people here to send a message to people other than just her father.
"Not only will it show my dad how much he means to the community," she said, "but also to the people who are detaining him, that he has a big impact on our community."
She said that while this experience has worn on her, it has also inspired her. Sharai, who will be college-bound in a few years, said she is pretty sure she is meant to study law.
"With this happening, it makes me want to become a lawyer even more," she said. "That way, I can help families who are going through this."
During Spectrum News' latest visit with him at the jail, Luis said his attorneys are scrambling to get him in front of a judge so just so he can begin to make his case against deportation. So far, he said, his attorneys have not been notified of any court date.