It’s been 73 days. Carlos Vasquez — the former head grill chef at the Anchor in Kingston — wants to voluntarily leave the United States, and head back to Mexico.
Vasquez — who is undocumented — was detained at the probation office across Broadway from his former employer on July 18.
An ice source says a 2011 DWI put Vasquez on ICE’s radar and led to his detention.
Vasquez has since asked to be granted voluntary departure to Mexico, so he can begin the process to return legally.
He hasn’t heard an answer from ICE, and his attorney is seeking answers from the courts.
His friend and former boss doesn’t get it.
“Here we are just leaving him for an indefinite period of time with no due process,” said Brandy Walters, the Anchor’s co-owner. “We’re taking somebody who was contributing to society. We have him in jail, because we want him to go home to Mexico. Now we won’t let him go home to Mexico.”
She’s not the only one who’s confused. Some members of Congress have similar questions. They, too, are having a hard time getting answers.
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney represents Orange County, where Vasquez is being held. He calls this another example of a life being torn apart by our broken immigration system.
“This is just another example of a person’s life being torn apart because of our broken immigration system. There are some limits on what my office can do for folks who aren’t constituents, but I would hope that Congressman Faso is doing everything he can to help,” he said.
Maloney also says there are limits on what his office can do, but hopes Congressman John Faso is doing all he can to help.
Faso, who represents Kingston, where Vasquez was first detained, says cases like this one are proof immigration laws are not working.
“It's very difficult to make broad-brush consideration on every single immigration matter when you know there are individual circumstances that affect each person,” Faso said.
Faso’s opponent in next month’s election — Antonio Delgado — says the lack of information on Vasquez’s case is concerning, and he is wondering just as Walters is, why Vasquez remains in jail, when he’s asking to leave.
Spectrum News reached out to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees immigration court, to inquire about Vasquez, and are still waiting to hear back.