Local News

Chatham County pastor, facing deportation, makes bond

Posted September 3, 2010 1:12 p.m. EDT
Updated September 3, 2010 5:33 p.m. EDT

— The Chatham County man who faces deportation after 37 years in the United States made bond Thursday in Atlanta and was expected to re-join his family in Siler City for the weekend, his attorney said.

Hector Villaneuva, 40, has a valid green card, is the pastor of a parish, and has a wife, four children and two foster children he's in the process of adopting.

Villaneuva had recently applied for U.S. citizenship, but he was denied after immigration officials discovered a conviction in California for commercial robbery 15 years ago.

That led to his arrest last month and his placement at the North Georgia Detention Center in Gainesville, Ga.

A judge in Atlanta ruled Thursday that Villaneuva was eligible for bond and he was released on Friday.

Immigration attorney Jorgelina E. Araneda said she did not know when Villaneuva's next court date would be.