PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Attorney Matthew Archambealt addressed the status of his client, Jonatan Polacios, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras arrested by ICE agents in Lower Merion, telling Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that he hopes a judge will reopen his asylum case.
“We filed a motion to reopen with the judge and asked her, under her discretion, to reopen the matter because he does have an asylum claim that he wasn’t able to pursue. He’s married to a US citizen, so he has other avenues for relief. Based on all the circumstances, she [should] decide to reopen the case and give him another chance. What really helps him is he has no criminal contact, he has no criminal record.”
The arrest caused some outrage on social media over allegations that Lower Merion police alerted ICE agents about Polacios, but Archambeault said those details are irrelevant to his case.
“That doesn’t really affect his immigration matter. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really know what happened there. I know Lower Merion came out and said that they weren’t on the scene. I think, sometimes, what happens is ICE wears or will wear ‘police’ on their uniforms. So, oftentimes, people will confuse them with the local police. I’ve never talked to my client about Lower Merion being there or not.”
He also addressed a court hearing that Polacios missed in 2008, shortly after arriving in the country, stating that he has come a very long way since then.
“The problem with Jonathan is he was placed with a sponsor and that relationship quickly deteriorated. He was 16 when he came and then he was, pretty quickly, out on his own. He did have representation, but he was a scared, he didn’t speak the language and he, honestly, decided not to show up for one hearing. Then he went on with his life. He is, kind of, a remarkable kid and he ended up graduating from high school. He’s in college. He met a beautiful U.S. citizen and been married now for over two years.”