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Sandy man faces deportation after roadside arrest by ICE

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Zaragoza-Sanchez described as a good worker and trustworthy by employer

(Image is Clickable Link) COURTESY PHOTO: AMELIA TEMPLETON/OPB - Rosalina Guzman sits with her youngest son. She and her husband, Roman, have five children who were born in the United States and are citizens. Roman Zaragoza-Sanchez left his home in Sandy at 6:50 a.m. It was Valentine's Day.

His job, at the Ekstrom and Schmidt Nursery, was a few minutes' drive away. His wife, Rosalina, made him a cup of coffee with breakfast to go and packed him a sack lunch. Zaragoza-Sanchez always left early for work.

"He likes to be on time," Rosalina said in Spanish. "He's very responsible."

She hasn't seen him since that morning.

Roman Zaragoza-Sanchez first came to the United States as a migrant worker in the 1990s. On a trip back to Mexico, he met and married Rosalina. A framed photo on their wall shows them standing in front of a lilac-colored wall: Rosalina in an elaborate wedding dress, Roman wearing a dark suit and looking serious.

Roman and Rosalina are both from the Mixtec indigenous group and were born in Oaxaca, Mexico. It's a mountainous state, among the poorest in the country. They speak Mixtec at home, and Spanish is their second language. Rosalina never learned to read or write.

In 2001, they paid a coyote — a person who specializes in smuggling immigrants into the country — to help them cross the U.S. border illegally.

"We came here because we didn't have food," Rosalina said. "The situation in Mexico was difficult. We heard that if we came here to the United States, there would be work here."

They moved first to Fresno, Calif., and then to Oregon. Rosalina gave birth to four sons and one daughter. The children now range in age from 6 to 15 years old. The children were born in the United States, making them U.S. citizens. They attend school in the Oregon Trail School District.

On Feb. 14, Zaragoza-Sanchez was supposed to pick up his oldest son after school. Rosalina was planning to cook a special meal to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Instead, an hour after he left for work, Roman called Rosalina. He said Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers had pulled him over and arrested him just a few blocks from home.

For the full story, visit: www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-immigrant-deport-criminal-background-children/

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Pamplin Media Group. Read more local news at opb.org/news/.