ICE detains, threatens to deport Dumfries, Va. pastor

A family is being torn apart under strict immigration enforcement. A pastor and father of two, with one child in the U.S. Air Force, has been detained for deportation.

Music and singing will continue on as usual Saturday in the small home in Dumfries, despite the pastor's disturbing absence.  

Juan Gutierrez Palomino, 57, was detained by Immigration Customs and Enforcement on June 28, 2017.

When he attended a regular immigration appointment,  he was taken into custody and transported to ICE's detention center in Farmville, Virginia. 

"They told me he be right back.  I waited for more than an hour," said Palomino's wife, Aurelia Sicha.  

RELATED: Va. immigrant advocate, mom detained by ICE

"It's very difficult. I just want to cry all the time but I'm trying to be strong. To hold all my emotions in," said Jade Gutierrez Sicha, 13, the couples daughter. "He didn't do anything bad," she said. 

Aurelia and Juan are from Peru. She arrived in the United States in 2000 and he arrived in 2002. Arelia became a United States citizen in 2014. Their two children were born in the United States and their son Jose, 21, serves in the United States Air Force.

Palomino was in the process of applying through his wife to be a permanent resident, but a trespassing charge that was dismissed caused him to be detained for deportation. He has no criminal record.  

"I think my husband broke the rule and I say, 'sorry' to the Constitution to this country. I understand it's bad, its wrong to stay over here. But my husband, he is good people," says Aurelia.  

RELATED: Dad of Rockville rape suspect arrested by ICE

She has a part time job with the Prince William County school system as a teacher aide, but doesn't make enough to pay the bills. Her husband was their primary breadwinner doing jobs as a landscaper and a chef.  

"He paid his taxes on time," she said. 

"Its really hard for me and my family. But, its not only me. I think many families are like me now, in this situation. Many kids is without mother or without father," said Aurelia Sicha. 

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy is trying to help, but Palomino apparently agreed to sign forms ICE gave him, which could mean he has no recourse but to be deported to Peru. 

Aurelia and Jade spoke by phone to Juan on Thursday. They say he's remaining hopeful and ministering to the other detainees at the facility.   

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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