CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A Cedar Rapids pastor is back in Honduras for the first time since 1995. Pastor Max Villatoro lost his fight against deportation Friday morning.
Protestors quickly rallied around the pastor and his family when he was arrested by immigration officials on March 3rd. H-e was among 2,000 people taken into custody as part of a federal immigration sting targeting illegal immigrants with criminal records.
Villatoro’s past convictions included drunk driving and records tampering. His attorney says it’s now Villatoro’s four children who are being punished
“These are American children that deserve protection from their government and what did their government do? They took their dad away, that’s just wrong, that’s just wrong, and that’s not what the president promised he would be doing, Max Villatoro is not an enforcement priority, and they got this one wrong,” says immigration lawyer David Leopold.
Villatoro is now trying to get a visa that would allow him to return to the United States. His attorney says it is a complicated process that will take an extended amount of time.