Mitchell family fights for release of father turned over to ICE

A Shirley family is fighting for the release of a father turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According to his family, Pernell Mitchell has

According to his family, Pernell Mitchell has been held at in the custody of the Suffolk County Jail after a minor traffic violation.

According to his family, Pernell Mitchell has been held at in the custody of the Suffolk County Jail after a minor traffic violation. (2/14/14)

SHIRLEY - A Shirley family is fighting for the release of a father turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to his family, Pernell Mitchell has been held at in the custody of the Suffolk County Jail after a minor traffic violation.

Judith Mitchell says her family emigrated from Jamaica 10 years ago when Pernell Mitchell attended bible college on a student visa.  Since that time, she says they've made repeated attempts to gain citizenship and even considered moving back to Jamaica a few years ago. 

Those plans were canceled when their daughter Melissa was diagnosed with cancer.  The family fears returning to Jamaica could amount to a death sentence due to the country’s inferior health care. Melissa, a sixth-grader, has been taken out of school to undergo chemotherapy for lymphoma.

Bryan Johnson, the Mitchell's attorney, says his client has no arrest record, holds a full-time job and is a father of five children.  He says local police can refuse to honor federal immigration laws and immigration officials should grant some leniency. 

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