US: Seeking legal status in America, immigrant grabbed in Philly by ICE and jailed

Paul Frame says his husband, Jose “Ivan” Nunez, was doing exactly what immigration critics always demand — “getting in line,” filing papers “the right way” so he could live in America legally.

Three weeks ago, the married couple were in the middle of an interview with officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in West Philadelphia, Frame and his supporters say, when ICE agents showed up, locked Nunez in handcuffs, and took him away.

He is now in custody at the York County Detention Center, where federal authorities frequently hold undocumented immigrants.

“We thought we were going to be in and out in a half-hour,” a tearful Frame said Monday at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Center City, where he was accompanied by gay and Latino advocates who demanded Nunez’s release. “I said, ‘Let’s become legal, then we have no worries.’”

Frame is a U.S. citizen. Nunez entered the country illegally from Mexico almost eight years ago. The couple’s attorney, Gonzalo Peralta, said Nunez has neither a criminal record nor pending criminal charges. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said in a statement that Nunez had been previously removed from the United States in August 2010. People who reenter the U.S. after being removed or deported can be charged with a felony offense — although that can be rare. Nunez, for instance, was never charged. Read more via The Inquirer