Immigration

ICE Arrests Houston Community Activist

Last year, the City of Houston recognized Roland Gramajo as an outstanding local leader. Now, Gramajo faces deportation.

“My dad isn’t a criminal, my dad helped a lot of people,” said Katherine Gramajo after her father, Roland Gramajo was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Members of Houston’s Guatemalan community are reeling after Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested Roland Gramajo after he left for work Thursday morning. 

Last year, Mayor Sylvester Turner recognized Gramajo as an outstanding community leader and declared a day in his honor. 

Gramajo, who first came to the United States from Guatemala as a teenager, is now facing deportation. 

“Mr. Gramajo is a loving father and a grandfather, he has been in the U.S. for 20 years, he has five citizen children,” said Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL, a local immigrant rights group that is helping with Gramajo’s case. 

Katherine Gramajo and her siblings are moved to tears after their father was arrested by immigration officials.

“My dad isn’t a criminal. He’s helped a lot of people,” said Katherine Gramajo, Roland’s daughter. “He does so much for the community.”

She’s now asking for the support of the community to help with her father’s case. 

We want him to come home,” she said, as she teared up. 

Her father is the family’s main breadwinner. All five of his children are U.S. citizens and his wife is a legal permanent resident, according to the family. 

Ofelia Julalu said Gramajo gave everything to improve the lives of his fellow Guatemalans and other Latin American immigrant communities in Houston.

Roland Gramajo was previously deported in 2004, after an incident that happened while he was a student at Houston’s Lee High School.

He returned to the United States without authorization. 

His lawyer, Raed Gonzalez, said he will be asking immigration officials to postpone his deportation for humanitarian reasons and will also begin an asylum claim. 

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