Fall River man detained by ICE fighting to get married

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A Brazilian immigrant and his American fiance may finally be able to get married after repeated denials from immigration officials. 

Katherine Machado, of Fall River, has been separated from her fiance, 29-year-old Edjann Dos Santos, for almost a year. Dos Santos is a Brazilian immigrant. His immigration attorney, Todd Pomerleau, says Dos Santos came to the United States with his parents when he was 13 years old. According to Pomerleau, Dos Santos was arrested last June at work, and detained by ICE.

“Edjann was doing all the right things,” Machado said. “He was going to school. He just got promoted to be a district manager. He was literally living the American dream.”

According to Pomerleau, the couple had plans to get married, and then Dos Santos could apply for his green card. But, he’s been held at the Suffolk County House of Corrections in Boston for almost a year.

“They’re paying several thousand dollars to hold a person in jail who was working, paying taxes, supporting his family, supporting his community,” Pomerleau said.

Pomerleau said the couple was back in federal court Tuesday, after filing numerous petitions to get married. According to Pomerleau, ICE officials finally said they will not oppose Dos Santos’ request to marry Machado, though he is still being detained.

“He’s been here since 2002,” Pomerleau said. “This is a person who was on the Dean’s List, who’s working in a management position, paying taxes, going to college.”

Meantime, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of several New England couples suggesting immigration officials are targeting the spouses of legal residents. One person mentioned in the lawsuit was Providence mother Lilian Calderon. 

Calderon was detained by ICE agents in Boston for almost a month in January after she attempted to apply for lawful permanent resident status. 

When Calderon was released, she was granted a 90 day stay of removal. According to court documents that were filed Tuesday, a decision in her case should be determined by May 18.

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