Family of deported Bonita Springs man fighting for his return

Victor Arriaga lived in the U.S. illegally for over 20 years.

The Bonita Springs man had a few minor traffic offenses, but was allowed to stay, as long as he checked in every year with immigration officials.

However, last year he was deported, and now he’s fighting for his life.

Arriaga has liver disease, but his son who served as a U.S. Marine is willing to give his father part of his.

“He has been getting sicker. We want him here as fast as possible, so he can get proper medical attention,” said Arriaga Jr., his son.

Before he got sick, Ariaga’s family never thought the worst could happen.

“My dad was going in for his yearly check-up, like he did years prior. Before he left, my sister and he were joking ‘they’re probably going to deport me,'” Arriaga Jr. said.

According to Fort Myers immigration attorney Indera Demine, she’s seen a spike under President Trump’s immigration policy—anyone in the country illegally, high priority or not, is getting thrown out.

But now, Arriaga needs help, and his son is willing to come to his aid.

“Anything I can do to help—I’d like to give him a part of my liver,” he said.

While his father is allowed to return to the U.S., the thousands of dollars in re-entry application and lawyer fees are too much for the family.

“He was the head of the household,” Arriaga Jr. says of his father.

The family is now pooling resources to get the medical care their father desperately needs.

“These things take time and take money. I’d wish people can see it’s something you can’t do overnight,” Arriaga Jr. said.

Arriaga Jr. says he plans to go to Mexico this summer to start the medical tests needed to see if he can give his father part of his liver.

Reporter:John-Carlos Estrada
Writer:Erica Brown
SHARE