Filipino immigrant released from ICE facility after 3.5 months in detention

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HIGHLAND PARK -

A Filipino immigrant who has been living in the United States for 30 years was freed from an immigration detention facility after 3 1/2 months.

Cloyd Edralin is a valid Green Card holder living in the United States legally. But he was arrested and threatened with deportation due 12-year-old weapon conviction. Edralin was released Thursday evening after a judge’s order.

"Going in there not knowing when you're going to get out, it's hell,” Edralin says.

Edralin was arrested outside his home June 4 while getting into his car for work. He says that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents rushed him and asked him a very specific question.

“They were asking if I had the weapon, so I was a bit confused. And then when they said, ‘You have weapons charges,’ I said, ‘That’s back in 2007.’ ‘So where’s the weapon?’” Edralin says.

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In 2007, Edralin was pulled over in a traffic stop on Interstate 287 in Edison. He was cited for possessing a BB gun, spent four years on probation, and thought that the case was completed. But he says that it came back to haunt him.

Edralin is one of many immigrants detained by ICE since President Donald Trump came into office.

Days after Edralin was detained, members of the community rallied around his wife and children. Edralin hired an attorney who won him a "Cancellation of Removal."

Attorney Justin English says that the key was showing Edralin’s family support. Edralin has four children and has been married for 19 years. He also has had to live in the U.S. for more than five years.

English tells News 12 New Jersey that it has been a difficult climate for immigrants under the Trump administration.

"We are seeing a ratcheting up of ICE and arrests of immigrants on old criminal offenses,” English said in a statement. "Under a different administration Cloyd would not be on the radar of ICE."

Edralin had his green card renewed in 2013. His wife says that his arrest is further evidence that the immigration system in the country is broken.

"To get your green card renewed after that they know [about the gun charge.] They've been notified, so why out of nowhere?” Brandi Edralin says.

Edralin can now apply for naturalization and then become an American citizen. The process may be completed within a year.

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