Undocumented dad speaks out about fears of deportation

Manuel "Manny" Bartsch calls the small town of Pandora, Ohio home. It's where he grew up and where he now raises his ...

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 6:56 PM
Updated: Feb 16, 2018 6:56 PM

Manuel "Manny" Bartsch calls the small town of Pandora, Ohio home. It's where he grew up and where he now raises his family, but his future there is in limbo.

As the Trump administration continues to take on the issue of immigration, hundreds of thousands of young people face deportation.

The Senate Thursday failed to advance four proposals that addressed immigration reform, one of which was backed by the White House.

Many illegal immigrants were protected from deportation under a program called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, also commonly known as "Dreamers". It's estimated that there are more than 750,000 of them nationwide and a couple thousand here in Ohio.

With the hopes Congress comes to an agreement on immigration this week now completely out of reach, the fate of the Dreamers, and the deadline for Congress to act, is now murkier than ever.

The Trump administration announced last year it would end protections for DACA recipients on March 5th, but in recent days two separate federal court injunctions have effectively halted that process, instructing the Department of Justice to maintain the current DACA program as it was before the Sept. 5 announcement.

DACA allows people who came here illegally as young children to stay and obtain work permits. For Manny, that permit expires in November. "Once that expires, I could be deported at any moment."

Manny and his wife Ashley have a one-year-old son Mason. "It's just scary, it's really scary," Manny said. "The thought of having to leave him, my wife. I just couldn't fathom the idea."

Manny is a German citizen, but moved to the United States when he was in elementary school. "I don't know how to speak the language, I don't know the culture," Manny said. "Honestly, I don't know what to do. It's petrifying, it's scary, it's always on the back of my mind."

He graduated from high school and college here in northwest Ohio. He says the DACA program has allowed him to start his own business.

Immigration concerns are nothing new for Manny. He made national news in 2005 as he battled deportation. He says it all started when he went to get his driver's license. He says he was cared for by his grandparents in Germany, and brought here by his step-grandfather who is American, but Manny was never legally adopted after his grandmother died.

Manny says he considers himself a proud American, "This is my home, this is my country, this is where I want to be."

In an exclusive interview with 13abc, Manny explains his hopes for his uncertain future.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
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Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
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Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
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Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
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Morgan14626285
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Houston10764288
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Limestone10182157
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Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
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Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
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We continue to monitor a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. This will be in heavy rainfall two locations across the southeast over the course of the weekend, and flooding rainfall could be in tow as well. Things are looking better for Father’s Day itself, thankfully.
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