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Ohio father says goodbye to his family before being deported back to Mexico

Posted at 6:49 AM, Jul 18, 2017

An Ohio father is saying goodbye to his family on Tuesday morning before the journey back to Mexico.

Jesus Lara Lopez is a father of four who has to leave the country after an immigration hearing on Monday.

Lopez worked at Pepperidge Farm in Willard. He had a valid work permit, according to his attorney David Leopold.

When Lopez checked in with immigration officials back in March, he was told he was being deported under an illegal immigration crackdown.

While talking in front of reporters, Leopold said immigration laws are broken.

"These are the darkest times I've ever seen as an attorney. When the best and the brightest that we have to offer are taken from their homes and sent away," Leopold said. "The law is so broken."

Lopez doesn't have a criminal record. Since being in the U.S., he has paid taxes and has never taken food stamps, according to Leopold.

"When the resources, the limited resources of law enforcement, are targeting a man like Jesus Lara, that’s less resources we have to go after a gang member or a national security threat," he said.

“The new rules are for the most part, every person who violated immigration law at some point in the past is a priority," said Brian DiFranco, an Ohio immigration attorney.

Immigration Attorneys in Ohio argue the Trump administration’s new crackdown is causing chaos in the Ohio immigration courts and creating a backlog of thousands of immigration cases, handled by just a handful of judges. For many immigrants, this means waiting years before their case is even heard.

"The irony here is this is exactly the kind of immigrant we want in this country," said Leopold.

Lopez left Cleveland at 7 a.m. on Tuesday from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. He arrived in Mexico City around 4 p.m.

A GoFundMe page has been started for the family Lopez left behind. As of 8:30 Tuesday night, the page raised almost $3000 after being active for two days. The page has a $10,000 goal.