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Legislators Urge Court to Reconsider Asylum Application of Mount Kisco Custodian

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White Plains, NY — Members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators are calling for the reconsideration of application for political asylum by a Mount Kisco synagogue employee who was deported to Mexico last February after living in the United States for more than 30 years.


All 13 members of the Board's majority signed a letter to Immigration Court in Batavia, New York, urging the court to reconsider Armando Rojas Rugerio's application for asylum, which has been denied, and to return him to his family and community.


Rugerio has lived and worked in Westchester for more than 20 years, serving as a custodian for the Bet Torah synagogue in Mount Kisco, paying taxes and Social Security. The synagogue's leaders have assembled legal resources for Rugerio, and members of the congregation have rallied in his support.


In February, Rugerio was deported without notice to his family and despite a stay of deportation signed by a judge.  According to the legislators' letter, Rugerio was left by an ICE officer in Tijuana, Mexico without a bank car, money, phone or ID.


Legislators say that once Rugerio returned to his sister's village in Mexico, he was physically threatened.  The letter also notes that two of his family members had been murdered. Members of the local community decided Rugerio was safer back in the United States and brought him to a boarder entry point where was detained. He was sent to the Albany County Correctional Facility where he has remained since June.


Rugerio has a wife, two sons and a grandchild in this area.


The letter notes that Rugerio's Asylum Officer found him to be credible and to have a legitimate fear should he be deported. The letter calls on the court to reconsider the asylum application.


Click here for a copy of the letter, sent to the court.

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