Ten people were arrested in Manhattan Tuesday while protesting the detention of a Haitian man facing deportation decades after a drug conviction.
Close to 100 people rallied outside the Varick Street Detention Center in SoHo to support Jean Montrevil.
Some were arrested for blocking traffic for more than a half hour.
The New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City says Montrevil has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials since December 30th.
Despite being a legal permanent resident of the US since 1986 and the father of four American-born children.
Montrevil served more than 10 years in prison for a 1989 conviction.
His wife, Jani Montrevil, says he has paid his debt to society and has become a community leader.
"I’m a US citizen, if this is our country I don’t want to be a US citizen any longer, because it’s not right. They aren’t taking into consideration the trauma my kids are going through," Montrevil said.
"He made a mistake over 20 years ago. He spent 10 years in prison paying for that mistake. And I think the US is a country that a second chance is something that we all have the opportunity to get," said Javier Valdes of Make the Road New York.
Montrevil’s supporters are pushing for passage of a bill now pending in the House of Representatives that would enable judges to consider the best interests of American children before deporting their parents.