EAST HARTFORD -- An East Hartford man currently fighting deportation received a boost from the community, who attended a fundraiser to help his family with legal fees and medical bills.
Domingo Ferreira has been living legally for 30 years in the United States, but a crime he committed about 12 years ago, caught the attention of immigration authorities during the Obama Administration. Now he's fighting to stay with his family. When he appeared in court earlier in the month he was given a 30 day reprieve.
"How do you open your door? It`s bad enough knowing that you`re going to be deported, but now you`re going to tell me you`re deporting my husband," said Diane Ferreira.
Ferreira could be deported next month for stealing a purse about 12 years ago, a crime for which he served time.
"I`ve been a law abiding citizen since before and after this happened," Ferreira said.
The East Hartford community came out for a fund raiser to raise money for Domingo's family. His wife and daughter have serious illnesses and he is their primary caregiver.
New London attorney, Chester Fairlee said he's not sure what will happen to Domingo when he's due back in court on February 2.
"I`m so worried that ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] may open the door of the federal building and say good morning sir will you come in please, close the door and take him away," said Fairlee.
Nevertheless, he has a big support system from friends and family.
"We`ve all been heartbroken over everything that`s been going on so we came here to support Diane and the family through this heartache," said Patty Rodriguez, who said she's known Diane Ferreira since she was 3-years-old.