Dane Foster, a father and husband of a disabled veteran, is facing deportation for old marijuana charges despite having a green card.
Foster was one of 105 immigrants arrested last week during a five-day ICE sting in New Jersey, reports NJ.com.
"We literally just dropped our daughter off at daycare. They came out of nowhere. They came down on us literally three cars deep and said they were going to take him," his wife, Alexsa, said in an emotional Facebook video.
Dane, 36, received a green card when he entered the United States in 1997. He is originally from Jamaica. His arrest was because of marijuana charges from the early 2000s and 2014.
"Dane was convicted of simple marijuana possession – a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey," Afia Yunus, his attorney, said. "No criminal record for the past four years."
Dane was fined for possession but never jailed, according to his attorney. He hasn’t been in trouble since.
"He has never had jail time or even probation and paid all his court fines in full," Alexsa told Patch.
ICE doesn’t care, however.
“ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement actions in compliance with federal law,” the organization said in a statement. “Dane Foster, a Jamaican national, is subject to removal from the U.S. based on his criminal history. He has been entered into immigration proceedings with the Executive Office for Immigration Review.”
Dane’s arrest puts Alexsa and their children in a bind. Alexsa was a member of the armed forces for seven years. A fractured pelvis rendered her unable to continue her service or to hold down steady civilian work because the injury left her susceptible to seizures and migraines. Dane’s lawncare business, along with his wife’s disability benefits, support their family. They have four children between the ages of 2 and 9 years old.
U.S. policy has long been to deport immigrants who break the law; however, that rule was rarely enforced before the Trump administration. Alexsa said Trump's interpretation of the rule has her questioning her service.
"This is not really what I fought for and signed up for when I joined the military. It's not what I thought this country could be," Alexsa said.
The family’s supporters held a rally in Dane’s honor on Thursday.
"Dane is a good husband, an amazing father, hardworking business owner and leader in his congregation," Archange Antoine, executive director of Faith in New Jersey, said in a statement. "He should be with his family not in a detention center that generates profits each time a man, woman and child is incarcerated. These systems are evil and how ICE is destroying and separating families is inhumane."
The family set up a GoFundMe account to help with expenses. According to the fundraiser page, Alexsa struggles to explain her husband’s absence to their children. Dane was reportedly denied a Bible and has not received information on how to have visitors during his incarceration. He can only contact his family on the phone.
"We just want him home,” Alexsa said.
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