First New Year’s Baby Results in R.I. Immigration Arrests

The mother of the first baby born in Rhode Island in 2008 has been living a nightmare, trying to determine the whereabouts of her Guatemalan boyfriend since his arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The lives of Carmen Marrero and her three children changed drastically after Mynor Montufar was arrested last Friday for deportation. Also arrested on that day was Guatemalan Rodrigo Perez, who was living with the couple, while a third illegal immigrant from the Central American country who shared the house, David de la Roca, was found dead in his room hours after the operation.

Marrero and Montufar had a daughter on Jan. 1 and, after granting interviews at the hospital to a newspaper and a television station in which the father admitted being in the country illegally, they were visited by ICE agents.

The 19-year-old Marrero, who was still in the hospital recovering from a Caesarean section, received a telephone call from Montufar, who told her what happened and gave her the number of the detention center in Massachusetts that he was being taken to.

But, Marrero told Efe, she has not heard from him since and officials at the detention center tell her that he is not there every time she calls.

“I have called and they always tell me no,” Marrero said, adding that Guatemalan community organizations have also contacted the center and “they told them the same thing as me, that he is not there.”

“I want to talk with him, and his family in Guatemala, which is worried, does too. I’ve cried a lot, I feel very bad over what is happening. For this to happen after just having given birth, and, on top of it, the young man’s death,” Marrero, who had lived with Montufar for three years, said.

In August, Montufar had agreed to voluntary deportation but never appeared before authorities on the scheduled date.

Marrero said she regretted the fact that everything happened in front of their two other children, ages 2 and 3.

The ICE agents called Marrero’s mother and asked her to get the children, and the woman was present when Perez was allegedly assaulted by the agents as he tried to evade arrest.

“They beat him when they took him away. They put the handcuffs on him in my home and my children started to cry. We were like family,” Marrero said of Perez, who worked in landscaping and construction.

Marrero and Montufar planned to get married in Guatemala next summer because his family could not travel to the United States.

Of David de la Roca, 25, Marrero recalled that he had lived with the couple for a year and worked as a landscaper.

“The poor guy killed himself because he was scared. He was not married, he didn’t have a girlfriend,” she said, adding that De la Roca “had no reason” to kill himself other than fear of being arrested and deported.

The remains of De la Roca, who emigrated to the United States 10 years ago, will be sent to Guatemala, and the autopsy results will be released in three months, community activist Juan Garcia told