MIT Custodian Facing Deportation Released From Jail, Pending Appeal - NBC Southern California
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MIT Custodian Facing Deportation Released From Jail, Pending Appeal

Before being detained, Rodriguez had worked as a custodian at MIT for the last five years

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    MIT Janitor Released After Detention by ICE

    Custodian Francisco Rodriguez, who has been detained by federal immigration officials since July, has been released.

    (Published Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017)

    A Massachusetts man who has been in immigration custody since July and who faces deportation to his native El Salvador has been released as he awaits his asylum appeal to be determined.

    The lawyer for Francisco Rodriguez told the Boston Globe that an agreement was reached Wednesday with the US Attorney’s Office and that Rodriguez will be released from the South Bay House of Correction by the end of day Friday. He was released early Thursday afternoon.

    In a statement released today, MIT said: "Many members of the MIT community have strongly supported that Francisco be released from detention to be with his family so the news of his release is extremely welcome. We also strongly believe Francisco should be allowed to remain in the U.S. permanently."

    Rodriguez, of Chelsea, was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on July 13.

    As a Massachusetts Institute of Technology custodian and father of four US-born children, lawyers argued that Rodriguez has no criminal record and that under the law, he can't be detained indefinitely.

    Before being detained, Rodriguez had worked as a custodian at MIT for the last five years. He moved to the United States illegally from El Salvador in 2006.

    A federal judge had issued a final order of removal against Rodriguez in 2009. ICE said Rodriguez was also issued four stays to allow him time to pursue his legal options.

    "I'm not a criminal, I am a father," Rodriguez had said in July. "My children, my family, I follow the rules. The only mistake that I made was [I] came the way that I came."

    He added he twice applied for asylum and was twice denied.

    Rodriguez's detention drew protests from lawmakers, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and Congressman Mike Capuano, as well as people who waited outside his detention hearing.

    "The big picture is he doesn’t need to be sitting in jail," Bennett told the Boston Globe.

    The lawyer for Francisco Rodriguez told the Boston Globe that an agreement was reached Wednesday with the US Attorney’s Office and that Rodriguez will be released from the South Bay House of Correction by the end of day Friday.

    He was released early Thursday afternoon.