Family of Chicago man who wrongfully spent 22 years in prison makes plea for him not to be deported

The family of a Chicago man who was exonerated on Tuesday after spending more than two decades in prison is pleading for officials not to deport him.

Ricardo Rodriguez is still in custody and has not been released from the prison in Pontiac, which is a major concern for his family.

But his sister says they are grateful that with the help of the State's Attorney's Office and a Cook County judge, her brother's conviction has been overturned.

"It has really been hard and I am really grateful that my parents are still alive and they are still here to witness him come home,” said Maria Rodriguez Lopez.

After 22 years behind bars, Ricardo Rodriguez is a free man, but is waiting to be released. He was sentenced to 60 years for a 1995 Humboldt Park murder. His attorneys say the conviction was based not on physical evidence, but on the claims of now retired Chicago police detective - Reynaldo Guevara - accused of framing dozens of people for murder. 

On Tuesday night, his family says they should be happy but are concerned. The 45-year-old's permanent resident status was revoked while he was in prison. 

“He's not here, he didn't get to go to court and come out of those doors so it is a big concern that we have and I hope they do the right thing and don't do another injustice and turn him over to immigration, we hope that tomorrow he will be home with us,” Maria said.

The family is worried that Rodriguez will go straight to an immigration detention center. For now, they are waiting and hoping they will have an answer on Wednesday.

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