Who says the Trump administration has no heart?
A man illegally in the country from Mexico said on Monday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) granted him a last-minute stay of deportation so he can look after his leukemia-afflicted five-year-old son, the Associated Press reports.
Jesus Berrones, a 30-year-old illegal alien who said he was brought to the country by his parents as a baby, was taking sanctuary in Phoenix’s Shadow Rock United Church of Christ since Friday.
His deportation proceedings were scheduled to begin on Monday, but he received last-minute word from immigration authorities that he would be given a one-year stay.
ICE’s Phoenix office issued a statement on Monday saying the decision was based on “humanitarian” considerations, and that Berrones had been granted a stay before.
“In an exercise of discretion, ICE has granted Jesus Armando Berrones-Balderas a one-year stay of removal on humanitarian grounds,” the statement read. “ICE issued a previous one-year stay in June 2016.”
The father of five, whose wife is pregnant with a sixth child, said he first ran into trouble with immigration at age 19, when he was arrested for driving with a fake license.
Barrones returned to Mexico voluntarily after the incident, but illegally crossed the border back into the US twice. He cited his arrest over the fake license as the reason he has been unable to qualify for legal status under DACA.
His wife, Sonia Garcia, and their five children are American citizens. Their five-year-old son Jayden was diagnosed with leukemia in 2016 and is in the middle of a three-year chemotherapy course.
Garcia said looking after Jayden prevents her from working. She had been worried how she would provide for her family without the income from her husband’s air duct cleaning job.
“My hopes are that everything’s going to be well,” Garcia said before her husband received his stay. “I leave it all in God’s hands.”
“Sending him back to Mexico would be sending him back to a country he doesn’t even know,” Berrones’ attorney Garrett Wilkes argued.
The lawyer criticized the Trump administration, saying “there is a mentality of deport now, ask questions later.”
Berrones himself asserted America’s immigration system is “in dire need of reform.”
Is the system in dire need of reform, or are foreign nationals in “dire need” of following US law?