When Flavio Musmanno lost his wallet one day in late August, someone called within a few hours to tell him they’d found it. The ostensible Good Samaritan arranged with Musmanno to meet him at an Ohio truckstop to pick up his lost belongings.
When he arrived, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was waiting for him. He’s been detained ever since and is currently awaiting deportation.
His very worried family is telling his story this week to draw attention to the case and help raise money for lawyers and other expenses.
Originally from Argentina, Musmanno is married to an American citizen and has a son who was born in the U.S., the family said to the Miami New Times in a story published Tuesday. He’s been living in Miami on an expired visa after arriving in the U.S. nearly two decades ago. He was away from home working construction jobs when he was arrested by ICE in Ohio.
Musmanno and his wife have since filed a petition asking for a green card for him, since his wife is a citizen. ICE has received the paperwork, but the Musmannos believe that Ohio ICE agents are going to deport him anyway.
"They just want to deport him," his stepdaughter Paola told Miami-based paper the New Times. "They won't tell us anything else. We sent them the petition he filed, but they just ignored it and keep saying they're going to deport him. And things are not good where we came from — if people find out he was living in Miami, they might think he has money and try to rob him or kidnap him."
The family is requesting funds on GoFundMe to cover legal costs, expenses for Musmanno’s return to Argentina, and other general expenses for the family. VICE News has reached out to the family, but they did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ICE did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment.
In Ohio, ICE is known for being particularly aggressive in its methods. In June, ICE agents conducted one of their biggest raids in history on a large gardening operation in Sandusky.
Cover: Over 200 workers from B&H Photo Video's Brooklyn and Manhattan warehouses went on a daylong strike on International Workers Day, May 1, 2017, in conjunction with "un día sin inmigrantes" strikes around the country. (Sipa via AP Images)