A Maryland-based pastor from Guatemala who helped rescue neighbors from a fire faces possible deportation after a hearing this week.
Eddie Macario, 28, is in federal prison after being arrested in August, according to the Montgomery County Sentinel.
Macario, an evangelical pastor whose 1-year-old daughter is a U.S. citizen, originally left Guatemala and entered the U.S. illegally in 2010, according to the paper.
He was deported by U.S. Border Patrol, and illegally reentered the U.S. several years ago. He is set for a deportation hearing in Baltimore on Tuesday.
Macario’s lawyer said that her client was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement when he “stopped to get coffee” after work, and does not have a criminal record outside of driving without a license.
In addition to being a religious leader, Macario is also hailed as a hero in the Silver Spring community, after he helped rescue neighbors in his apartment building from a gas explosion fire.
Religious leaders in the Silver Spring area held a prayer service last week in support of Macario. Some are also raising money to cover his legal fees through an online fundraiser.
Rev. Nancy Ladd of River Road Unitarian Church in Bethesda called Macario’s dedication to his faith in hard times “inspirational.”
Ladd urged service attendees to attend Macario’s hearing on Tuesday to support him.
“We show up for each other,” she said.