Federal Judge Dismisses Gallegos Immigration Case - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Federal Judge Dismisses Gallegos Immigration Case

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Alfredo Ramos Gallegos with kids Alfredo Ramos Gallegos with kids
Alfredo Ramos Gallegos of Panesville, Ohio is a dad, a husband, and now, a man cleared of illegal immigration charges.

He was discovered and charged just this February for re-entering the United States in the year 2000, after being deported that same year. His first hearing in Erie spurred a rally in Perry Square. The rally was organized by "Hola," a Latino outreach group based in northeast Ohio. 

But on Wednesday afternoon, Gallegos' illegal re-entry charges were dismissed by the U.S. District Judge David Cercone in Pittsburgh.

Gallegos wasn't available for comment, but Hola says he's very grateful.

"He absolutely loves this country and to him, it’s just another example of how great this country is," said Veronica Dahlberg, executive director of Hola. "That’s how he sees it, that justice did prevail," she said in a phone interview.

The outreach group says while this case ended happily, it also shows why there needs to be immigration reform.

"There are lots of resources are being used on your hardworking immigrant workers and their families, and I don’t think that’s the best use of our resources," Dahlberg said. "
Re-entry cases are the number one federally prosecuted in the US, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Dahlberg believes that shouldn't be the situation.

"We all want the same thing - we all want to live in safety and security. But there's some real bad guys out there and that's where resources should be used," she said. 

Gallegos had been granted a one-year stay of removal by US Immigration and Customs, following his March hearing in Erie. But Wednesday's dismissal by Judge Cercone means Gallegos can start the process to stay for good with his family in Ohio.

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