Man, found innocent, fights deportation
EAGLE COUNTY – Every time Fabian Vasquez has a court date but can’t get out of the immigration jail he’s been in since June, he gets desperate, his mother Lupe Torres said.”He cries and says, ‘Mom, get me out of here,'” Torres said.Vazquez is a 24-year-old man from Gypsum who has cerebral palsy. He has been held in an detention center in Aurora ever since an Eagle County jury acquitted him of attempted sexual assault in June. “It’s hard, I’m worried every day,” Torres said. “He has always been by my side.”Vasquez battled criminal charges and spent 17 months in the Eagle County jail. Two days after his acquittal, he was taken to an immigration detention center because he’s a Mexican national without legal status.
Now, he’s trying to avoid deportation and a life in Mexico far away from his family. But after fighting for months in an immigration court, the Vasquez family’s options are running out now that an immigration judge has denied bond and asylum to Fabian. If his family doesn’t appeal the judge’s decision soon, Fabian will be deported by mid-November, his brother Jorge Vasquez said. Because the family has spent thousands of dollars in the criminal and immigration cases, they’re seeking financial help.”We’ve already spent $10,000 in the appeal of the bond and the asylum case,” Jorge Vasquez said. “If we don’t do the appeal, they’ll take him to Mexico and all our family is here.”Trying to stayFabian’s case is similar to that of many immigrants from Mexico, but for the fact that he has an illness that causes seizures and panic attacks.
Fabian has lived in the country for 12 years and his whole family is close to getting residency status. His youngest brother was born in the United States, his parents own a home in Gypsum and his mother owns a small cleaning business.”I’m in a tough situation,” Lupe Torres said. “My youngest son was born in the U.S. and he wouldn’t be happy if we had to move back to Mexico. I have everything here: A home, children, grandchildren, it wouldn’t be a life to go back.”But Torres is afraid of what will happen to Fabian if he’s deported. “He can’t go to live with strangers, nobody will take care of him as I will,” she said.If his brother goes back to Mexico, Jorge Vasquez said he could end up in a mental institution.”An expert who testified at the hearing said that putting Fabian in that kind of mental institution would be like giving him a life sentence in jail,” he said.Though it would be hard to get Fabian asylum in the United States, Torres said the family will have to appeal the judge’s decision to continue with other options.
“This problem we’ve had has been financially a disaster for us,” Torres said. “That’s why we thought of asking the county people for help. We don’t want to give up.”Fabian, who attended high school in Eagle County, was acquitted of attempted sexual assault on a child. He was accused of trying to touch a 14-year-old boy’s penis on a bus going from Avon to Eagle. Jim Fahrenholtz, Fabian’s attorney during the criminal case, said the alleged victim misinterpreted Fabian’s intentions, because Fabian has a hard time communicating verbally.Vail, Colorado