@realDonaldTrump Jesus Berrones, 30, Here since he was 1, father of 5 plus one on way. 5 yes old son has leukaemia and us undergoing chemo and you want to send him back to Mexico. You have no heart at all!!! pic.twitter.com/5NK303pErV— Tracy Schneider (@sylvanlaker84) February 12, 2018
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is set to deport an undocumented immigrant from Mexico whose 5-year-old son is battling cancer.
Jesus Berrones, 30, lives in Glendale, Arizona, along with his pregnant wife and five children. He came to the country when he was 1 year old and it remains unclear if he was brought illegally.
In 2006, he was caught driving without a license and he was deported from the country. However, two weeks after being deported, he re-entered the country illegally but was voluntarily removed in 2010.
Berrones made another attempt and he once again returned to the United States unlawfully.
His wife and all of his children are U.S. citizens.
In 2016, his 5-year-old son, Jayden, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia for which he is receiving intensive chemotherapy.
Since then, Berrones was granted a stay of removal by ICE, which is a special type of stay given by the agency on the basis of a sick child.
Berrones has been regularly refiling his stay and never faced any problems. However, under the Trump administration, he was told it was not necessary and was later sent a notice by the agency that said he would be deported.
A request was sent by his lawyer to refile the stay but it was also denied.
“He's a hard-working man. We're scared. The kids will ask me: ‘Where's daddy?’” said Berrones’ wife, Sofia.
After the denial of his request, the man took refuge in a sanctuary church in Phoenix because of fear of being deported. He plans to stay in there until he is granted a stay by ICE.
Pastor of Shadow Rock congregation, the Rev. Ken Heintzleman, where Berrones is taking refuge, said the church welcomes the man until his legal requirements are fulfilled and he doesn’t have a fear of being deported or arrested.
"Our society really looks down on fathers who are neglectful. This man crossed the desert I think twice, put his life at risk in order to be a father and to take care of his family. He should really be praised and commended rather than judged, and punished and deported,” he said.
Garrett Wilkes, a Phoenix immigration lawyer, said, the case highlights the mindset of the Trump administration.
“The mindset now is, 'Deport now, ask questions later.’ It would be catastrophic in every literal and emotional sense of the word. This is not just a man who is a husband and a father, he is an example to these kids,” he said.
Wilkes added, “He has a U.S. citizen family member who will suffer extremely without him, he can show good morale character, and in addition, he is married to a U.S. citizen.”
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Bryan Cox/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement