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Larry Aguilar facing deportation after 50 years

Posted at 9:09 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 21:09:58-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The Federal Government says Larry Aguilar is not a citizen. They sent him a letter warning him he is on the deportation list, even though he worked in public service. 

Larry Aguilar was part of the "Freedom to Flight" program, when America opened it's doors to Cuban refugees in 1966, he was even granted a social security number on his third day of living in America.

But when his parents became naturalized citizens, they didn't do the paperwork for their children and now is one of hundreds of thousands of people in the same boat. 

"He worked for the federal government, he worked for a federal judge for a while. And it wasn't until a private employer ran him through e-verify that there was a paperwork problem." said Aguilar's attorney Elizabeth Ricci. 

Close to 750,000 people file for naturalization every year, but only 23,000 applicants for children are typically filed. A number according to Ricci is suspiciously low. 

"It should be more like 100,000 based on the number of families with children in the household." 

Ricci estimates nearly 70,000 children a year are not getting the right paperwork filed. The children grow up thinking they have legal status, just like Larry thought he did, after his dad became a citizen. 

"When he became an American citizen that was a big deal. And I remember telling my brother and I, who is 11 months older than me, we are Americans." said Aguilar. 

Despite better relations with America, Cuba still wouldn't take Aguilar back because he and his family left as political refugees and are therefore considered criminals to the communist regime.