Above: A screenshot of the Duque famliy being interviewed on CNN.
When Pope Francis visits the Our Lady Queen of Angels School in Harlem today, Friday, Sept. 25, a family from the Delaware County village of Margaretville will be there to meet with him.
The pope will be meeting with families of immigrants who have been helped by Catholic Charities,
Francisco Duque Gonzalez and his wife, Maria Silvia Castañeda, immigrated from Mexico to the US in the early 2000s, seeking a better life for their two young children ... After they crossed the border, they came to New York. At first it was very difficult. Both Duque and Castañeda struggled to find work because they didn’t have the proper paperwork. Duque said he eventually made the difficult decision to use fake documentation to find work.
Duque was detained by immigration officials, but with the help of Catholic Charities he is fighting his detention in court. Now his family lives in a house in Margaretville, according to the story:
Catholic Charities took on Duque’s case and helped secure his release from the detention center he had been transferred to in New Jersey. Over the course of more than 100 hearings in criminal and immigration courts, Duque’s lawyer has argued that the arrest was unlawful because the officers did not have a search warrant. The case is ongoing.
Meanwhile, Duque and his family have begun to rebuild their lives. They live in Margaretville, New York, a rural town in the Catskills mountains. Duque now works as a handyman and his wife assists him. His older daughters Silvia Celeste, 19, and Fatima Andrea, 15, qualify for temporary legal residency and his youngest daughters Vanessa Corina, 12, and Aurura, 6, were born in the US and are citizens.