BOSTON (CBS) — Dozens of supporters rallied outside the State House Thursday to call for the release of MIT janitor Francisco Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, a 43-year-old father of three who is a native of El Salvador, was detained by ICE officials in Burlington last week during a check-in.

Rodriguez’s mother and daughter were among those gathered on the State House steps at noon. The Family is asking Gov. Baker to call the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to ask for the release of Rodriguez.

“Deporting Francisco doesn’t make America great,” one supporter said through a megaphone. “It doesn’t make America safe … Francisco and thousands of others should not be the easy targets of ICE to make numbers about how many people they have been able to deport this year.”

Supporters chanted “Here to stay!” and “Governor Baker, take a stand!”

Francisco’s daughter, Mellanie, went to Gov. Charlie Baker’s office to deliver a petition with 8,000 petitions, as well as 35 letters of support, calling for his release.

“I want the liberty of my dad so we can be in this country of justice with him, and to be together again,” Mellanie said.

During a Monday hearing, a judge ruled that the government was allowed to keep him in custody.

His attorneys argued that he has no criminal history, and was unlawfully detained.

There has been no response so far from the Governor’s office.

  1. Josie Albert says:

    Yet MS-13 gang members continue to roam our streets and terrorize our cities. ICE needs to get their priorities straight and focus all their energy on the real criminals!

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