An Island family fractured by an 18-year-old immigration case is seeking support and trying to raise awareness to bring family members home.
Jose Erivelton Pereira Abreu, an Edgartown resident who owns a landscaping business, traveled to Brazil with his family for a green card interview, but was denied, barring him from returning to the U.S. for five years.
Abreu’s wife, Jennifer, spoke with The Times to confirm her husband’s situation. “We spent six months there with my husband, but my visa expired Jan. 19th, so I had to leave my husband behind. Now I cannot return to Brazil for at least six months,” Jennifer Abreu said in a letter to The Times. “As I was leaving Brazil, immigration refused to allow my middle child, who is six years old, to leave Brazil with me. They have not only separated our family from my husband, but also my children from their siblings. This kind of trauma is very detrimental to our children.”
The issue stretches back to 2004, when a 17-year-old Abreu entered the U.S. illegally. He was released in the U.S. by immigration officials, and moved to the Vineyard, building his own business and buying a house with his wife in 2019.
Now the family is facing financial difficulties, with Abreu stuck in Brazil. “My children are crying daily, struggling with this separation. I do not have the money to pay for our bills or groceries, and since I was away for so long, I had to take a leave from my job. Please help us reunite our family by bringing my husband and daughter home,” Abreu said. “We cannot go on like this.”