Utah father of four deported without warning despite having empl - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Utah father of four deported without warning despite having employee authorization card

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West Valley City, UTAH - A Utah father of four has been deported without warning. Aufanua Manusina has been living in the U.S. for 15 years and also had an up-to-date work-authorization card to be here. 

Three weeks ago Aufanua was at the immigration office with his wife, Saueleele Manusina, trying to obtain citizenship. Little did they know, Aufanua would not be returning to his family's Utah home. Instead he was taken to the Cache County Jail where he spent three weeks before being put on a plane by federal immigration agents and sent back to his native country of Samoa Tuesday night.

Aufanua's mother is a U.S. citizen and he was working toward the same status, but it was a petty crime more than a decade ago for a fight that prompted his deportation. According to his lawyer, Aria Nejad. Aufanua was deported because of a misdemeanor charge from eleven years ago.

In 2006, Manusina got into a fight at a bar and was going to be deported, but an immigration judge decided it was a minor crime and gave him another chance.

"11 years ago he had a misdemeanor and he has never had another incident with law enforcement but with the current administration even with prior crimes they can now open those old cases," Nejad said.

His wife, is completely shocked and says she never saw this coming.

"I had no idea that this is going to happen, that we're going to end up like this. I'm going to end up being a single mother... This morning my kids they woke up and just came in my room and asked me if they could talk to their dad. If they could see him. I just don't know how to explain it." Saueleele said.

Nejad says what happened to the Manusina family is the new normal. 

"What's changed is under the Obama administration they were going after felons, typically, anyone who was a threat to the streets: That's where our resources were being focused," Nejad said. "Now it’s anyone who has committed a crime. The arrest and removal proceedings for non criminals has doubled in the last six months. This is a person that is active in the community here. He is an active church goer and now he is gone unfortunately." 

 

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