ICE to Deport Undocumented Father Whose Son is Battling Leukemia

Barrones family

A father-of-five, who was brought to the United States from Mexico when he was a little over a year old, was denied an extension to stay in the U.S. on Thursday.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement gave notice to Jesus Berrones to appear on Monday to be deported. The 30-year-old father who had been granted a stay of removal in 2016 because of his son's illness was told last year he was no longer a deportation priority, according to his lawyer, Garrett Wilkes.

Last month he received a notice from ICE that he would be deported and when Wilkes refiled a request to stay he was told it was denied. Not only is Berrones' five-year-old son undergoing chemotherapy but he is the sole breadwinner of his home and would be leaving behind his five children and a pregnant wife.

His wife Sonia Berrones, a US citizen, told the Post that in 2006 when he was 19 he was caught driving with a fake license and was deported to Mexico. He has re-entered the country illegally twice to rejoin his family in Arizona. 

On Friday, Berrones took refuge at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ in Phoenix. The "sanctuary church" welcomes immigrants facing deportation to live in their church until they are no longer under threat of deportation. ICE has designated churches as “sensitive” places to avoid when carrying out arrests. 

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Wilkes is considering filing a petition that argues Berrones was not granted the opportunity to go before an immigration judge when he was first deported in 2006.