Immigrant family makes Thanksgiving plea to ICE officials

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- On the day before Thanksgiving, a Queens family is hoping federal immigration officials will show some holiday mercy.

Liany Guerrero and her 22-year-old twin daughters joined immigration advocates in Flushing Wednesday morning, issuing a public plea to Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Release their husband and father from the Bergen County jail so the family can celebrate Thanksgiving together.

Last week, ICE agents detained 57-year-old Juan Villacis when he arrived for his annual check-in with authorities, who claim his immigrant visa is not current.

The family has lived and settled in Woodhaven since they left Colombia in 2001. Villacis and his wife own a home, pay taxes and financed their daughters' education at Baruch College.

The licensed physical therapist assistant could be deported to his native Ecuador by the end of the year.

An ICE spokesperson told Eyewitness News investigators will examine the case.
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