Jesus Martinez Manon, a 52-year-old father from Las Vegas who had lived in the U.S. for 30 years and whose children had publicly pleaded for his release from immigration detention before Thanksgiving, was deported on Tuesday.
Michael Kagan, director of the UNLV Immigration Clinic, confirmed the news to The Nevada Independent on Tuesday night. The clinic also tweeted about the development, saying “his three children, all U.S. citizens, are devastated.”
The clinic confirmed the Henderson Detention Center routinely deports detainees to Mexico on Tuesdays; Martinez Manon is originally from Toluca, Mexico. Kagan, who represented Martinez Manon legally, said the legal team was in contact with ICE last week and as recently as Monday.
“They told us they would consider our request to stay his deportation and allow him a hearing in court,” Kagan said in a text message. “But we never received an answer.”
Martinez Manon was detained by ICE outside his Las Vegas home while getting ready to leave for his job as a construction worker in mid-November. He does not appear to have a criminal record but ICE said he does have a previous deportation from 2008.
ICE didn’t immediately respond to an after-hours request for comment on Tuesday, but a spokeswoman had previously said that “According to relevant checks, Martinez-Manon was previously removed to his home country of Mexico in June 2008. As a previously removed alien in receipt of a final order of removal, he will remain in ICE custody pending his removal to Mexico.”
Martinez Manon has a wife and three children, including Karen, a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) studying criminal justice, and Jennifer, a student at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) studying psychology.
“I just want my father back,” Karen Martinez said through tears at a November press conference. “Especially because Christmas is coming up.”
His case garnered attention from political figures, including presidential candidate and Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, who described the situation in a tweet as a family needlessly being torn apart.
Martinez Manon may have been the victim of unethical legal advice given by an immigration lawyer while the family attempted to legalize his status, Kagan said.
Martinez Manon’s family has been in contact with him, Kagan said. But the immigration clinic and attorneys have yet to receive any answers from ICE as to why their requests to allow Martinez Manon to stay in the country for a court hearing were denied.
“They simply deported him,” Kagan said.