GREENWOOD, Miss. — A Mexican man who has lived in Mississippi the past 20 years won’t get to stay in the United States for another year, after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rejected his request for a stay.

The Greenwood Commonwealth (http://bit.ly/2q5KC6r) reports that Martin Duron-Esparza, 36, was denied the extra time in a May 12 letter signed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer Rodney Sharff.

Duron-Esparza complained that the ICE official’s decision was too fast. “We think he should have taken some time to consider it,” he said.

The letter says an application for a stay was denied two years ago, and “no new issues were presented to support this application. While no one factor is determinative, a review of the factors addressed in your request for a stay of removal shows that the granting of such relief is not warranted.”

Duron-Esparza immigrated to Leflore County as a 16-year-old but never obtained documents for permanent residency. He says he received annual work permits for six years to work on irrigation pivots. But these ended last June, without explanation.

He said he has been attempting to regularize his immigration status since 2008.

“What else can I do? I have done everything I can to stay in this country,” he said today. “I went through the legal processes, but every time I was denied.”

ICE originally demanded that Duron-Esparza leave the U.S. by April 13. He was later told he could stay in Greenwood until his children finish this academic year at St. Francis Catholic School. Officials now say he must leave on June 1.

Duron-Esparza said he is frustrated that petitions and letters from Greenwood citizens in support of his residency do not appear to have been taken into consideration.

“I went through all the legal ways they have, and I was denied because I came in illegal. They are sending me back,” he said. “They need to realize it is not only me they are sending but a whole family who has been a part of the Greenwood community for many years.”


Information from: The Greenwood Commonwealth, http://www.gwcommonwealth.com