The Legal Aid Society announced Friday morning that Katherine Polk Failla, United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, issued a stay of deportation late Thursday night for Edisson Barros, a 25-year native of Queens, father of two, and veteran New York City cab driver who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last month and had been scheduled for immediate removal back to Ecuador.
Mr. Barros was issued a summons for a mere desk ticket after a dispute as he protected his beloved family dog from a reckless motorist. Following the incident, Mr. Barros dutifully appeared in court to successfully contest the charges, but was subsequently arrested by ICE when leaving court.
Mr. Barros was originally detained at Hudson County Correctional Facility but was recently transferred to an ICE facility in Louisiana, far from his family, for removal. The stay of removal is in place pending the outcome of this litigation.
Gregory Copeland, Sarah Gillman, Jennifer Williams, Allison Wilkinson, and Ramya Ravishankar with Legal Aid’s Immigration Law Unit represent Mr. Barros.
“We welcome this decision affording Mr. Barros a genuine opportunity to stay in this country while he fights his immigration case,” said Gregory Copeland, Supervising Attorney with the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “Mr. Barros’ case is yet another troubling example of this federal Administration’s cruel war to separate families, whether at the southern border or here in this sanctuary city. We look forward to ensuring that Mr. Barros remains in New York City – his home for more than 25 years - with his family and community.”
“I am greatly relieved that Mr. Barros has been granted a stay. He is a dedicated family man and by all accounts a valued member of his community. It is my hope that his family and attorneys can now see him quickly returned to New York. I will continue pressing for a favorable outcome in this case,” said Congress Member Nydia M. Velázquez.
“The ultimate goal is to reunite Edisson with his family. But first a stay of deportation was needed, and thanks to the incredible and tireless work of the Legal Aid Society, the Barros family now has a fighting chance,” said City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the Committee on Immigration. “It’s important to remember how we got to this point, which was due to the family’s own advocacy, the elevation of their cause by activists and the press, and the help of my colleagues in government, particularly Council Member Francisco Moya and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. This victory is proof once again of an important truth: that ICE is not all powerful, that we have the tools to defend the most vulnerable among us, and that when we unite our efforts we can achieve anything on behalf of our immigrant brothers and sisters.”
"This monumental victory is the culmination of dedicated grassroots organizing and people coming together for what is morally right. We will continue fighting to ensure Edisson's freedom, and for the dignity of all undocumented immigrants," said Carlos Jesus Calzadilla-Palacio, President of Young Progressives of America.