Jesus Coro (known to his many friends as Chucho) is a longtime San Juan County resident who is much loved and greatly respected throughout the community. Unfortunately, in January of this year he was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. How did this happen?
Chucho was on board a small boat that was heading to a job on Trump Island, a job he has been traveling to and from for 10 years. The Coast Guard boarded the boat to perform a routine vessel inspection, but traveling with the Coast Guard was an immigration agent. Suspecting that Chucho might be undocumented, the agent interrogated him. Since Chucho was unable to demonstrate satisfactory evidence of U.S. citizenship, he was detained and transferred to the ICE Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
Letters attesting to Chucho's character and integrity and an emergency loan of $12,000 enabled him to post bond and be released after 2 weeks in detention. Luckily, a Lopez resident who knows him well, lent Chucho $4,000 for an immigration attorney to represent him at the bond hearing . Why? ... because Chucho Coro is such a wonderful person and such an invaluable part of our community.
Chucho lived on Lopez for 14 years before moving to Orcas. A property owner on Lopez, he volunteers each year for the annual 4th of July Parade and traditionally decks his car out with a huge American flag and drives the car with his family and friends as one of the parade’s floats. On Orcas, he has helped coach kids' soccer and runs a successful landscaping business. He and his wife, Leslin, and their four children are proud to call Orcas their home. (Leslin is a permanent resident and his children are all native-born US citizens.)
The next step is to prepare for Chucho's deportation hearing. The date has not yet been set, but it will happen sometime in the next one to three years. His attorney believes he has a good case for cancellation of deportation. If the judge grants cancellation then Coro becomes a permanent resident, and after three to five years, he can become a U.S. citizen. However, his attorney fees for the deportation trial will be between $10,000 and $16,000.
In sum, Chucho is looking at a little over $30,000 to defend himself in immigration court (repaying the $16,000 that his case has racked up to date, and another $16,000 for the deportation hearing. That is a lot of money.
People like Chucho are valuable additions to any community. Let's help him stay here with his family.
FYI, the funds from this will be transferred into the Stand Up for Chucho campaign at Chucho's bank. Jesus Coro and Eleanor Hoague are both signers on this account.
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