A Berkeley resident is free after more than two months in immigration detention, during which he faced deportation to China.
Daniel Maher, an undocumented Chinese immigrant who came to the U.S. from Macau when he was 2 years old, was released Friday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after a home raid led to his being detained for more than 75 days, according to a media advisory issued by Asian Law Caucus.
Maher is the Recycling Director of Berkeley's Ecology Center, where he's worked for 14 years following serving a prison sentence for an unspecified crime that he committed when he was 20.
KQED reported that Maher's case was part of ICE's "broader crackdown on Chinese nationals subject to deportation, and undocumented immigrants with prior serious criminal convictions."
"Deportations and ICE raids are a daily event in immigrant communities," Anoop Prasad, attorney for Maher on behalf of the Immigrant Rights Program at the Asian Law Caucus, told NBC Bay Area. "Over 30,000 people are detained by ICE each day and around 400,000 people are deported each year."
Annette Wong from Chinese for Affirmative Action told KQED that the Asian Law Caucus interviewed several other Chinese detainees who faced the same plight as Maher before campaigning for his release.
“We talked about it, and we identified Daniel as somebody that we wanted to begin a campaign for, because he had so much community support,” she said.
Maher, Prasad, Wong and Martin Bourque from the Ecology Center will host a press conference at Ecology Center on Thursday.