Family, activists protest deportation of Knox County immigrant

Family, activists protest deportation of Knox County immigrant

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Family and activists gathered outside the Knox County Detention Facility. Family and activists gathered outside the Knox County Detention Facility.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Immigrant rights activists and a Knox County man's family say they're fighting to keep him from being deported.

The family is pleading with law enforcement not to send Juan Andres-Jimenez, 41, back to Guatemala.

Andres-Jimenez was arrested Thursday and charged with driving under the influence, speeding and for not having a license, registration or insurance.

Family members and supporters held a news conference Monday outside the Knox County Detention Center where Andres-Jimenez is being held.

His family says even though he doesn't have the proper documentation, he has been a productive member of the community for more than 25 years.

"Please don't deport my father. He didn't do anything wrong. Give him a chance. You're going to be separating a family," said his daughter, Gabriela Andres, a citizen and Central High School graduate.

"We're human beings like everybody else. We bleed the same blood. I don't think it's right for them to just deport him," said his nephew, Calixto Andres.

The family says he did have political asylum when he first came to the U.S., but they say his ID was stolen and he was never able to renew it in time.

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