Florida father of 6 faces deportation after living in US for almost 20 years

TAMPA, FLA. (WSVN) - A father of six with a baby on the way is facing deportation after he entered the United States illegally 20 years ago.

According to Fox 13, Luis Blanco, 41, was first deported from the U.S. back in 1998. A year later, he returned illegally to find work. Since then, he has lived and worked in Plant City, near Tampa.

In 2014, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained him following a minor traffic violation in South Carolina. But instead of deporting him, ICE granted him a humanitarian stay since he is the sole breadwinner of his family.

Since then, Blanco has regularly checked in with ICE, and the status had allowed him to work legally.  However, he found out his last application was denied.

He says the timing couldn’t be worse, since his partner is pregnant with their seventh child, and is due in May.

“If I’m deported my family is going to suffer a lot,” Blanco told Fox 13. “I don’t know how they will live, I’m the only one that works.”

Blanco’s oldest daughter, Sonya Pedrano, told Fox 4 she was supposed to start college, but will instead work to pay the bills for her family.

He later turned himself in to ICE in hopes he would eventually be able to return to his family. Now, his attorney said deportation is imminent.

An ICE spokesperson told Fox 4 that Blanco has a criminal history. However, the only infraction the station could find was driving with tinted windows and without a license.

Blanco’s immigration lawyer said authorities can either deport him, or send him to federal prison for re-entering the country after his initial deportation.

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