He was pardoned by the governor, but a Bronx man facing deportation for a crime he committed a decade ago doesn’t know if he will ever get to come home.
Harveys Gomez, 39, was born in the Dominican Republic, but he has called New York home since 1988, when he came to the city as an 8-year-old boy.
In 2009, Gomez was arrested on drug sale charges and spent six months in jail, and another five years on probation.
Gomez, a handyman who paints, lays tile and installs sheetrock, was detained in October by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who took him into custody at 5 a.m. at his Parkchester home.
According to his sisters, Gomez was held at Federal Plaza in Manhattan for two days before being taken to a facility in New Jersey, where he is currently being held.
“He’s actually spent more time with ICE than he did in prison,” said Gomez’ sister Nirva.
She said her family has not seen Gomez since he was moved from New York to New Jersey.
“He says they treat the family members bad over there,” Nirva said. “He said, ‘I don’t want to put you guys through that.'”
Gov. Cuomo officially pardoned Gomez Tuesday, barely beating the clock before a scheduled deportation hearing. Gomez’s case was adjourned, but the family has received no update on his next scheduled appearance.
Cuomo and Gomez’s family said he is openly gay, HIV positive, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and has no family in the Dominican Republic who would be able to support him if he were deported.
“New York will always fight to protect the immigrant community from the federal government’s targeted attacks on our values,” Cuomo said after the latest pardon.
Cuomo has pardoned 34 people, including Gomez, and seven others in July, in hopes of keeping them from being deported.
The idea is to erase the criminal record that has them facing deportation, state officials said. But that is no guarantee that the pardoned people will be able to stay in the country. ICE officials said Gomez entered the U.S. illegally in 1988, but is “amenable to removal proceedings” because of his conviction.
“We don’t even know what to do anymore,” Nirva said. “We’re just hoping for the best.”
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