ST. LOUIS (KFVS) - A man from Honduras but living in Poplar Bluff, Missouri is fighting to stay in the Heartland.
A petition is circulating to support a stay of deportation for Alex Garcia. Garcia is the father of five children, all of whom are U.S. citizens. He was supposed to be deported on Thursday, September 21 but that didn't happen.
Garcia's deportation has already been delayed two times.
The St. Louis Sanctuary Coalition, area organizations, along with faith leaders and advocates, gathered with Alex Garcia as he entered sanctuary in an attempt to stay with his family in the U.S.
A vigil, a march and a rally was held announcing the campaign to keep Garcia in Poplar Bluff.
With signs in hand, about 50 people showed up to support Garcia and his family.
The vigil started in St. Louis outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office.
The procession moved from the Young Building to the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse as a police escort guided them. They chanted, "No deportation, no border walls, no fascist USA."
The rally took place on the steps of the Federal Courthouse.
The crowd that was once loud, quieted to hear Carleen Garcia talk about her husband.
"What they are doing to families like ours is not right," she said. "...he wants to stay with us and our community and help everybody..."
In 2015, Garcia was living in the U.S. illegally and ICE found him and told him he had to leave the United States.
Garcia applied for a stay of removal and was granted allowing him to stay.
In 2016, he applied for another renewal and was granted one once again.
When he applied in 2017, he was denied and told he had to leave the country. They gave Garcia a month to leave the U.S. He was told he had to leave by Thursday, September 21.
Instead of reporting to leave the country, he is in sanctuary. His family applied for an appeal for a ruling on the stay of the removal.
ICE refused to accept the documents and would not review them because he is considered a fugitive.