San Diego

East County Family Facing Possible Deportation

The family says they face daily death threats from drug cartels back in Colombia

A family of four living in Jamul, California is at risk of being deported nearly 20 years after they fled Colombia because of death threats from drug cartels.

The Dunoyer family legally entered the United States in 2001 under a Visa and asked for asylum but was denied.

After spending 17 years in the U.S., the family said the Trump Administration's "Zero-Tolerance" policy could be taking it all away.

"It's so hard," Consuelo Dunoyer said. "I feel destroyed. I can't do nothing."

The family left Colombia after several death threats from Colombian drug cartels. The patriarch of the family, Roberto, was targeted because he worked for the Colombian government.

The family's asylum case was denied because a judge said their case wasn't 100 percent politically based.

As a last resort, Hunter introduced a private bill for the family. The current representative for Jamul, Duncan Hunter Jr., continued to support the family.

"I think from his perspective, it's the case of a family who tried to go through the legal process," Pablo Dunoyer, 20, said. "We are not criminals."

It was an unlikely move for the Republican congressman who is tough on immigration and supports the "Zero Tolerance" policy.

"We are glad that he is helping and we think that speaks a lot," Pablo said.

Since arriving in the U.S., the Dunoyer family has thrived. Both Robert and Consuelo have their own business, own a home and paid their taxes every year.

"My parents are business owners," Camilo Dunoyer, 17, said. "They are one of the nicest people you will ever meet. We volunteer at our local communities."

The Dunoyers said U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter is still fighting to help keep them in the U.S.

"I am worried about being able to stay in my own home," Camilo Dunoyer said. "Seeing my family go through this is a nightmare."

An online petition started by the family's attorney has garnered nearly 5,000 signatures in just a few days.

There is a meeting scheduled between the family and officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday.

They will receive a final decision on their case then.

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