After raid, family says Carbondale man has had passport revoked
August 24, 2010
CARBONDALE – A man who reportedly was wrongly targeted by federal immigration agents in July may have now had his passport pulled by the U.S. State Department, according to a member of his family.
Laurie Guevara-Stone of Carbondale has talked with reporters in recent days, maintaining that her stepson has lost his passport largely because of a recent incident involving federal and local law enforcement agents.
Marco Guevara, 24, the son of Anibal Guevara-Stone, was at the family home at about 6 a.m. on July 13 when agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and local law enforcement officer showed up at the house.
The agents and officers moved to arrest Guevara, who became a U.S. citizen when his father did in 2003 and has a U.S. passport. The agents reportedly accused him of being a “resident alien” and a criminal, and threatened to deport him for what they said were “too many” drug-related offenses.
The agents were stopped by Marco’s stepmother, a native U.S. citizen, who pointed out that he was a naturalized U.S. citizen and holder of a valid passport.
Conceding that Marco had been convicted of a drug offense in 2008, she noted that he had “spent months and months in jail” and had been released on probation.
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Marco said he takes regular drug tests and, as a born-again Baptist from a jailhouse conversion, spends much of his time working for his church.
“If [the court and jail officials] didn’t think he was a U.S. citizen, why didn’t they deport him then?” Laurie demanded of the agents, who ultimately released Marco and left.
But, Laurie recalled, one of the ICE agents warned her that they would check the status of his passport and that they might be back.
About a week ago, she told the Post Independent on Monday, Marco got the letter from the State Department rescinding his passport.
“They say he should never have received one,” she said, adding that in her eyes, the two developments are related.
“They would not have looked into his passport if it had not been for [the ICE raid],” she maintained. “They’re just cracking down on immigrants that happen to have any criminal record.”
The State Department, she related, maintains that Marco did not qualify for citizenship because he was not living with his father and stepmother as a minor.
According to Laurie, however, that is not true. She said he had been in a juvenile detention home when he turned 16, and then had gone to live in Florida for less than a year.
But, she added, “He came and lived with us right before he turned 17.”
She said the family has evidence of Marco’s residency here, including a diploma from Glenwood Springs High School, as well as employment records from Clark’s Market in Carbondale where “he worked from when he was 17 until he was 19.”
The family has hired an attorney in Denver to work on the case, an attorney they reportedly found through the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition in Denver.
And, according to a CIRC spokesman, the attorney and Marco are not making any public statements right now, at least in part because of uncertainty about his status.
Alan Kaplan, an official with CIRC, decline to comment on the case other than to offer, “There is no, like, actual confirmation [of Marco’s passport being pulled].”
And, he said, since the attorney and Marco are “the only two people that would know what’s going on,” there is little information available for now.
No representative of the State Department could be reached for comment.