It was the luckiest of breaks, in a life long overdue for one.
Manuel Ordonez-Quino sat in a detention center in El Paso, awaiting deportation to Guatemala. Swept up in the massive raid on a New Bedford factory in 2007, immigration officials said he had agreed to leave the country.
But some of his fellow detainees told lawyers that was impossible. Ordonez-Quino was deaf, they said. An indigenous Maya, he spoke only Quiché, not English or Spanish. He could not have understood what was happening to him, let alone agreed to it. So John Willshire-Carrera and Nancy Kelly of Greater Boston Legal Services and the Harvard Refugee Program took on his case.
That one stroke of good fortune will change not only Ordonez-Quino’s life, but many others.
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