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Undocumented worker speaks out about federal raids

Posted at 6:45 PM, Oct 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-24 23:39:55-04

19 year old Sergio Medein Roblero Perez came to the U.S. from Mexico about six months ago.  Now, his future is filled with uncertainty after Medallin and two dozen co-workers were detained by federal authorities following raids on four Mexican restaurants.

Medein says he had a visa allowing him to work on a farm in Georgia.  But now in Buffalo, he doesn't know what the future holds.  He had been living with co-workers in a house near El Agave, but that was one of the properties raided by federal authorities.  Right now, he's sleeping at Trinity Church in Buffalo until he learns what will happen.

Medein spoke with 7Eyewitness News through a translator.

"He is grateful to the churches that have opened their houses, their churches to the affected families," Carlos Rojas translated.  "He's been staying here for a couple of nights."

Medein wants people to see immigrants as human and for the community to treat him and his co-workers better.

Nisha Fontaine is an immigration attorney at Serotte Reich Wilson in Buffalo.  She explained these cases can sometimes take years to be completed.  The outcome depends on a lot of different factors, including whether the undocumented worker has kids or a family in the U.S., but each case is handled individually.

"The court is also bound by what the law says and what type of relief is available to these people," Fontaine said.

"When immigration court hearings take so long, you go through that stress day after day," she said.  "It's hard to make plans for next year or next Christmas when you know there's a hearing date before that and you don't know what's going to happen."

Advocates with the Cosecha Movement are supporting Medein and some of the other workers.  The organization is a national group that works for "permanent protection, dignity and respect for the immigrant community."

Community members are gathering at Trinity Church on Delaware Avenue at 9 a.m. Tuesday.  They'll be walking with Medein and two other workers to meetings with deportation officers in a show of solidarity.