JERSEY CITY - Supporters are rallying around a Jersey City man who's facing deportation back to his native Lebanon. Charbel "Charlie" Chehoud is currently being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility. His fiancée, Veronica Garcia, says he's been there for a year and a half. Garcia also says Chehoud has helped authorities in the past to crack a cold case, but now the country he helped is giving him the cold shoulder.
Supporters are petitioning for Chehoud to be allowed to stay in the U.S. Chehoud immigrated to America in 1989 from Lebanon. Garcia says Chehoud has built a life here, but is now being detained after a former coworker turned him over to immigration authorities.
Chehoud has unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the past. His attorney, Carla McBeath, says her client never had an opportunity to have a hearing on his asylum claim as a Christian from Lebanon and that he was denied due process.
A petition is calling for Chehoud's release. It says he has no criminal record and has actually worked to protect New Jersey residents, which is why his adopted state should want to adopt him.