WILLARD - Inside a house in Willard on Monday, the Lara family is spending its last night together.
An emotional time, as they put off goodbyes until the last possible moment. A summer evening in the backyard that's normally relaxing, is tense.
Jesus Lara has lived in the United States for 17 years as an undocumented immigrant. He works, pays taxes, and owns his own home. His four children were born here. The oldest, 14-year-old Eric, translates:
"He says that the things he wants to give us, he can't give it to us in Mexico. He can only give to us here."
Education for his kids is first on that list.
He says we need him so we can be united and we can have a better future," Eric replies.
After being pulled over for a minor traffic violation in 2008, Jesus was given an order of deportation. He continued to legally fight the order, traveling to D.C. for the cause, and checked in with ICE as directed.
He'd been given permission to live and work here until the deportation order was activated. Years passed, but then in May, ICE demanded he wear an ankle bracelet and buy his own one-way ticket back to Mexico.
"He never imagined that this situation would happen," Eric translates.
Lara and his supporters say he's not a so-called bad hombre and it's a waste of resources to deport a contributing member of society. Through Eric he says he doesn't know what's going to happen if he's not here.
The family plans to communicate with Jesus using WhatsApp and Facebook. His wife will be forced to support their four children, working a minimum wage job. 14-year-old Eric is holding out hope he'll see his dad in America once again.
"If it was like the last day I see my family and I got deported I would come back no matter what," says Eric.
Jesus will head to Cleveland early Tuesday morning where his ankle bracelet will be removed. His flight to Mexico is scheduled for 7:00 a.m.
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