ICE gives undocumented father 1-year stay to care for son with leukemia

CNN (Fair Use) Remix by Samantha Grasso

This undocumented father says his son battling leukemia needs his support.

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.

According to CNN, Jesus Armando Berrones-Balderas, 30, has been cleared by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stay in the U.S. for one year on a humanitarian basis and obtain a work permit.

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.

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.