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Detained Ann Arbor dad formally requests immigration officials release him

attorney and sons talking
Tyler Scott
/
Michigan Radio
Attorney Shanta Driver talks with one of the sons of Jose Luis Sanchez Ronquillo before filing a formal request for ICE to release Sanchez-Ronquillo. Jose Luis (left) is named after his father and is 14.

Ann Arbor resident and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo is hoping to be released while the Board of Immigration Appeals considers whether to reopen his immigration case.

Supporters and family members of Sanchez-Ronquillo rallied outside of the ICE field office in Detroit on Tuesday as his attorney submitted a request for his release.

Shanta Driver is the attorney representing Sanchez-Ronquillo. She says the Board of Immigration Appeals is faced with a significant backlog of cases, meaning it could be years before there’s any decision in her client's case. That's before even considering the possibility of a lengthy appeals process.

“[We’re asking ICE to] let this man go, let him go on with his life while the legal process is proceeding in its ordinary, slow way,” Driver said.

Sanchez-Ronquillo illegally entered the United States more than 20 years ago. He has lived in Ann Arbor with his family for most of his time here and is a father to two sons. Sanchez-Ronquillo has been detained by ICE since April.

His youngest son, 11-year-old Charlie, says he’s only been able to speak to his dad on the phone since Sanchez-Ronquillo was detained.

“It’s been hard without him,” Charlie Sanchez-Ronquillo said. “My dad is really nice. He’s funny, and I just miss playing with him.”

People being detained by ICE for longer than a specified removal period can request to be released. In an email, ICE spokesperson Khaalid Walls that ICE reviews each such request on a case-by-case basis.

Read the ICE policy on continuing to hold detainees beyond the period of removal and the criteria for a detainee's release here.

Driver says there’s no clear timeline for when ICE has to respond to the request, but she hopes to hear something within a month. 

Tyler Scott is the weekend afternoon host at Michigan Radio, though you can often hear him filling in at other times during the week. Tyler started in radio at age 18, as a board operator at WMLM 1520AM in Alma, Michigan, where he later became host of The Morning Show.
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