‘Running Out of Time': Newton Father Faces Deportation

As he continues to face an uncertain future, Rigoberto Mendez does the best he can, but it isn't easy.

"I came for a better life over here, looking for a better future," Mendez, an undocumented immigrant who lives in Newton, Massachusetts, said Monday.

Mendez moved from Guatemala in late 1991. Since then, he's gotten married and had two kids.

"In life, I've spent more time living here than my own country. If I go back, I don't know," Mendez added. "It would be very difficult for me."

His lawyer says Mendez has gone through the judicial process to remain in the United States, but that in the end, he didn't meet the qualifications.

After several stays of removal, Mendez now faces a date to depart.

"We are running out of time. We have basically 10 days to get this thing in our direction or not," Victor Maldonado, Mendez's lawyer, said Monday. "We are at the end of the proverbial rope, so to speak."

Complicating matters, Mendez's wife has brain cancer, and she continues to undergo treatment at a Boston hospital.

"I hope someone can help me with the problem that I have," Mendez said.

Mendez added his son is about to start school at UMass Boston in the fall, the first in the entire family to attend college. His younger son is about to enter fourth grade in Newton.

"Lately, I haven't had time to sleep, because it is not easy, thinking how I'm going to do with this," he said. "I don't like to think about it."

Maldonado says Mendez must show up at at an ICE office in August with proof of a one-way ticket back to Guatemala.

"Him being here is pretty much everything," Maldonado said. "This guy is a terrific father, the kids are doing tremendously well. [His wife] started responding to the cancer treatment. She is not out of the woods, but she is certainly better than she was a year ago."

Maldonado says he hopes to meet with Sen. Elizabeth Warren's office later this week to ask for help.

"These are not usual circumstances," he said.

NBC10 Boston reached out to ICE for comment. A spokesman said the agency was looking into the matter late Monday.

"He's an asset, but he is an asset with an order of removal in this administration," Maldonado said. "That is not a good combination."

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