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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 23, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 08
ICE agents arrest Gay man at his citizenship hearing
Section One
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ICE agents arrest Gay man at his citizenship hearing

Man is married to US citizen

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested a Gay man at his citizenship hearing in spite of the fact that he is legally married to a US citizen.

José 'Ivan' Núñez, was detained by ICE after a hearing at the Philadelphia office of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which was to recognize his legal marriage to Paul Frame, a US citizen.

Although USCIS did recognize Núñez's marriage to Frame, Frame was ushered out of the hearing room and Núñez was arrested without his husband's knowledge.

Núñez was charged with entering the US illegally in 2010.

A USCIS spokesperson told Pink News that it is 'standard practice' for ICE agents to be notified if immigrants with deportation warrants are at USCIS offices, but Gonzalo Peralta, Núñez's immigration attorney, said that it is rare for people to be arrested at immigration hearings.

Prior to the Trump administration, it was nearly unheard of for immigrants to be detained during proceedings, Peralta told Pink News.

'You approve his marriage, but at the same time you're trying to contact the very agency that would be in charge of trying to get him out of the country,' Peralta said.

'Prior to the Trump administration, we weren't seeing very many people actually being sought and captured when they're trying to go through these proceedings.

'It's only been very recently, and with Ivan's case that we've actually seen ICE go into USCIS offices.'

'I was trying to help him get a better life and move forward,' Frame explained.

'I had no doubt that morning that we were going to go in and come out and everything was going to be fine. I never thought that we were not going to be coming out together.'

He added that ICE's tactics would likely deter immigrants from attempting to go through the process legally.

'Who that is not legal is going to go through this process?' he asked. 'I'd rather stay at home, and be safe and secure, and have him with me.'

Frame said he fears that if his husband is deported he will be killed because of his sexuality.

'That is the reason Ivan fled Mexico in the first place,' Frame said. 'That's his fear, that if he goes back to Mexico, that he'll be killed for his sexuality.'

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