Updated 6/19, 10 a.m.
A Flushing man is facing deportation after being detained by federal authorities during an interview for his green card.
Xiuqing You, a husband and father of two young children who has been in the country for 18 years, was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers (ICE) on May 23 after appearing for an immigration interview in Manhattan. He is currently being held at a detention center in New Jersey as he faces deportation to China.
You’s wife Yu Mei Chen, who is a U.S. citizen, told the Daily News she accompanied her husband on the May 23 interview, believing that his request for permanent residency was in the works. Chen reportedly sat for an interview and was then told to leave so they could question her husband, who was detained shortly thereafter.
You entered the country 18 years ago and was issued a final order of deportation in 2002 after a claim for asylum was denied, according to the report. He applied for permanent residency in 2015.
In a statement, Congresswoman Grace Meng, who represents Flushing and other Queens neighborhoods on Capitol Hill, said the case is “the latest example of how the administration’s cruel immigration policies are destroying lives.”
“Xiuqing You is a hardworking individual who wants nothing more than to better the life of his family, and have his shot at the American dream,” she said. “Detaining him as he appeared for his scheduled adjustment of status interview is unjust, and I will be leading a letter to ICE on his behalf.”
You has no criminal history, Meng noted. The congresswoman says she will be “closely monitoring You’s case in the days ahead.”
“His wife and 4- and 6-year-old [children] are distraught by his absence and will suffer financial hardships if they are not reunited with him,” the representative added.
Immigration advocates rallied at Foley Square in Manhattan on June 18 — located down the block from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office where You appeared for his interview — to demand You’s immediate release.
You is being represented by attorney Yee Ling Poon, who told the Daily News she has asked the court for a stay of deportation.
An ICE spokesperson said You entered the United States in January 2000 “without a valid entry document” and an immigration judge ordered You be removed from the country in December of the same year. You then filed an appeal which was dismissed, and in May 2008, he filed a motion to reopen the case.
“On May 23, 2018, ERO deportation officers arrested You based on his final order of removal,” an ICE spokesperson said. “He is currently in ICE custody pending removal.”