CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of a father of five is fighting to keep him from being deported to Mexico.

Family members, friends and immigration advocates protested Wednesday morning outside the immigrations and customs office in the loop to demand the release of Cesar Elizarraraz.

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He’s been held in the McHenry County Jail for 20 months on ICE detention.

The 41-year-old was given an order of deportation on May 21.

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He came to the U.S. as a child with his father and brothers, and has spent most of his life in Crystal Lake.

His wife said his decades-old convictions for retail theft and battery do not reflect the person he is today.

“He is not the same troubled, angry teen he once was. He has completely turned his life around and should not be defined by his past mistakes,” said his wife Kristin Glauner. “Cesar should be seen for the loving adult he is today. versus the teenager he once was 20-plus years ago.”

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Attorneys for Elizarraraz have applied for prosecutorial discretion after a court of appeals refused to issue a stay.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff