Sixto testified that he had lived in the US since 1986. He owned a home and paid a mortgage of $812 a month. He owned a 2003 Chevy and a 2008 Dodge super-duty truck. He had a 401(k) plan worth about eight thousand dollars. He had about six hundred dollars in savings. He paid child support. He had studied English for eight months at a community college.
When asked by the court if he could find work in Mexico, Sixto testified that the roofing systems he installed and the building materials he used would not be available there. He did not think he could support his family. Sixto argued that the court should not underestimate the importance of a father to the lives of his children.
The court found that Sixto and his daughters provided credible testimony. It did not, however, conclude that his children would suffer “unconscionable” hardship should he be deported. The court denied Sixto’s application.
In March 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the court’s decision and gave Sixto sixty days to voluntarily leave the US.
At Guernica, journalist J. Malcolm Garcia profiles forty-eight-year-old Sixto Paz, a roofer with a family and no criminal record who moved into a church to avoid deportation. Garcia discusses the uncertain future of sanctuary sites, where Federal immigration authorities have rarely detained undocumented migrants.