HIGHLAND PARK, NJ — A Filipino green card holder was about to go to work on Monday morning when federal immigration agents detained him in the garage of his New Jersey home.
“They said they have charges against him, and he said yeah, that was a long time ago, they said, we’re here regarding immigration and they said, you have to come with us,” says his wife, Brandi Davison-Edralin.
47-year-old Cloyd Edralin was then processed at a Newark ICE facility, and has been detained at the Elizabeth contract detention facility.
In an email to ABS-CBN News, ICE spokesperson Emilio Dabul said: “Cloyd Tolentino Edralin, a citizen and national of the Philippines, is removable based on his felony conviction for possession of a handgun. He is currently in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.”
Brandi says her husband got in trouble with the law 11 years ago.
While they are aware that this could be an issue that might come up later on, they have not heard from ICE after Cloyd served his time.
In his first 500 days in office, the Trump administration has targeted and deported undocumented immigrants with criminal pasts.
While green card holders can legally be deported, Davison-Edralin believes that the Trump administration’s new approach of targetting people with legal status is alarming.
“It is terrifying, what they are doing to legal immigrants, yes I understand we have laws and there are rules regarding immigration, but the process should not become and grab them, give them an opportunity to present their case in court.”
Brandi says she and Cloyd’s Filipino family make sure to visit him every single day they are allowed to see him. The situation has dealt a big blow to the family.
“Dad was always there, and all of a sudden he’s not, and we don’t know when, if he will be again.”
Brandi has this message to the president.
“This is not just about the individual, this is about the family, their community, and you’re tearing them up. We need to keep people intact, communities intact, and address the issue, but tearing homes and families and communities is not the way to do it.”
The Filipino community in New Jersey is holding rallies for Edralin and will continue to do so, to create awareness about the Trump’s administration’s new approach in detaining even those with legal status.