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10/6: Florida Father Denied Chance to Reunite with Family, Turned Away at Border
Released 15 October 2015  By Natalia Jaramillo

FLORIDA FATHER DENIED CHANCE TO REUNITE WITH FAMILY, SENT BACK TO MEXICO

Rafael Gaytan, a DAPA-eligible father of 2 U.S.-born children and long term resident from Auburndale, FL, was denied humanitarian parole at the border

Tijuana, FL - Today at the San Ysidro U.S. port of entry, with a shattered heart Rafael Gaytan was turned away by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. His petition for humanitarian parole was denied. While in Florida, Mayra Gaytan (wife) and their children are devastated to hear the terrible news. Their family remains separated and their dreams of family reunification are turned into a nightmare.

Authorities at the border told Rafael the only way he could be granted humanitarian parole would be if his children were at their death bed. In the same way they stated he should have never gone to see his sister and parents. “I fear for my life back in Mexico, the organized crime is at its peak and I have no means to provide for my wife and kids from here” says Rafael.

Rafael Gaytan had to leave the country three months ago due to a family medical emergency and, unfortunately, had no other option but to travel without a permit because the Deferred Action or Parental Accountability (DAPA) program he is eligible for to have a temporary immigration status, is currently blocked at the courts. Today, Rafael attempted to turn himself in to immigration authorities at the border between San Diego and Tijuana as a last resort to reunite with his family.

The Young American Dreamers (YAD), and the rest of the supporting organizations, are with the Gaytan family now more than ever. They will not give up at the first encounter and will continue growing a petition that has over 500 signatures nationwide. This is the moment to continue fighting the immigration system keeping immigrant families apart, where if DAPA was in place Rafael would not be in this situation in the first place.

Daniel Barajas, YAD’s Executive Director, returned to the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana with Rafael and will be working on next steps with legal support and other allies in the community. “At the end of the day, there are two citizen children who the system is failing and keeping away from their father” shared Daniel.

# # #

Media contacts in Florida, San Diego or Tijuana:

Deported Veterans Support House, Tijuana
Mexico number: (664) 329-1655
US number: (626) 569-5491

Border Angels of San Diego
Sara Gurling, thegurlings@gmail.com

Young American Dreamers
Daniel Barajas, daniel.b@youngamericandreamers.com, (863) 614-3953
Jessica Sanchez, jessica.s@youngamericandreamers.com, (863) 838-1506


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