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Facing deportation, Local 983 member wins a reprieve


Jose Molina, wife Jennifer, and daughter with L. 983 Pres. Joe Puleo at immigration court in Manhattan. Facing the deportation, Molina was granted a one-year reprieve by a judge.
A collective sigh of relief was heard June 7 as Local 983’s Jose Molina won a reprieve from an immigration court judge.

After requesting attorneys to file new briefs, the judge set a hearing date for late May 2018.

“I am just so happy and relieved,” said Molina, who came to America as an infant and faces deportation to Panama for a crime he committed – and served time for – 20 years ago.

For now the Associate Parks Service Worker remains stateside maintaining ball fields for the Parks and Recreation Dept.

Elected city leaders took a special interest in Molina’s case after reading about it in the Public Employee Press.

After the hearing, Jose and his family thanked supporters who packed the lower Manhattan courtroom: Local 983 President Joe Puleo and VP Marvin Robbins, Local 1508 Parks Supervisor Hugo Chance, Margot Perron, Van Cortlandt Park administrator, and City Council member Carlos Menchaca, chair of the Council’s Immigration Committee.

“This is about America’s promise of due process under the law,” Menchaca said.

DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, and union members wrote letters of support. The union’s Political Action Dept. urged elected officials Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz and City Council member Fernando Cabrera to write letters as well.

“The amount of support Jose has received from his union is really remarkable,” said Lee Wang, one of Molina’s attorneys from the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project.