An undocumented father seeking asylum in a Phoenix church has been granted one additional year to stay in the U.S. without deportation. One of his five children, a 5-year-old son, has leukemia, and his wife is pregnant.
Berrones and his parents came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was a baby in 1989. His lawyer, Garrett Wilkes, said he had regular check-ins with ICE every six months. However, in December, Berrones was told he’d be deported in January.
Wilkes had filed for a stay of removal, but was told on Feb. 8 that Berrones was denied. As a result, Berrones sought sanctuary within a church in Phoenix to keep him from being deported.
Through more communication with ICE and the Mexican consulate, however, Wilkes said they were able to get additional documentation, which he thinks led to ICE’s decision reversal.
“In an exercise of discretion, ICE has granted Jesus Armando Berrones-Balderas a one-year stay of removal on humanitarian grounds,” ICE’s statement read. “ICE issued a previous one-year stay in June 2016. Berrones-Balderas, who has received a final order of removal, remains enrolled in the agency’s Alternatives to Detention program, which requires him to regularly check-in with the local ICE office.”
On CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, Berrones said he was happy about the decision reversal, as is his son.
“He’s actually happy because he knows now that I’m going to be able to go home now and be with my whole family at home,” said Berrones.
You catch part of Berrones’ interview below.
"My son is sick. He does need my help and my support." Undocumented father, whose 5-year-old son is battling cancer, details his ordeal after being granted a one-year stay on humanitarian grounds https://t.co/eFK4eUUvU0— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) February 13, 2018