Detained father of teen who took her own life granted extended release

Posted: Updated:
SUFFOLK COUNTY -

A Honduran father who sent his child to Long Island to live a better life is fighting to stay in the U.S. after his teen daughter took her own life.

Manuel Gamez is heartbroken over the death of his only daughter, 13-year-old Heydi. Earlier this month, she hanged herself and was declared brain dead at a Suffolk hospital.

Heydi had lived on Long Island for four years with her aunt after the two fled Honduras and were granted asylum. But Manuel Gamez didn't have asylum, and was caught in June trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to be with his daughter.

Immigration officials granted Gamez a two-week release from a Texas detention facility to be by his daughter's side when she was removed from life support. Gamez's immigration attorney has now gotten that two weeks extended to 30 days.

Gamez's attorney says he has no criminal history and isn't a danger to anyone. His 30-day extension is up Aug. 27.

The organization Make the Road New York is joining Gamez's attorney in calling on immigration officials to let Gamez stay in Suffolk until he can have another hearing before an immigration judge. That process can take months.

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