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An immigrant family in Ohio has plenty of reason to celebrate.
Pedro Hernandez, one of the cases we’ve been advocating for since 2013, recently received news that his stay of deportation was no longer needed – as he is now considered a low-priority case for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
That means that Pedro gets to stay with his family in the United States!
Thank you to everyone who helped us keep Pedro home with his family! This victory belongs to to our community and is a reminder of what we can achieve when we work together.
As you might recall, Pedro is the father of four children and acts as caretaker for his oldest son, Juan, who has cerebral palsy and is dependent on others for basic needs. Hi wife Seleste, who also physical disability, relies on Pedro to help take care of their children.
The news about Pedro’s case came last week, as he prepared for a routine visit with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at the Detroit Field Office. Upon entering the office with one of his attorney’s, and bracing for the worst case scenario, Pedro was notified that his deportation is no longer a priority — allowing him to continue to be the loving and caring father that his family needs him to be.
According to David Leopold, Pedro’s lawyer:
Last week we went to ICE to renew Pedro’s stay of deportation so he could continue to care for his stepson Juan who is bedridden from severe cerebral palsy. With ICE’s inexplicable 2013 and 2014 refusals of Pedro’s stay requests still fresh in our minds we were ready for the worst, and expected, yet again, to have to fight tooth and nail to keep Pedro with his family. So we were pleasantly surprised when ICE officers, apparently recognizing that Pedro is not an enforcement priority, gave us every indication that this year Pedro may not even need to apply for a stay of removal. It looks like the ICE Detroit Field Office may have finally read the memo—the November 20, 2014 DHS enforcement priorities memo—and we’re very hopeful that ICE Detroit will do the right thing by Pedro and his family this year.
However low priority immigrants are hardly out of the woods just yet. Indications are that while ICE Detroit has been keeping their hands off of them, it’s taking action which effectively prevents them from applying for employment authorization to support their families. Hopefully, ICE Detroit will read not only read the memo, but will follow it in the spirit in which it is written so that low enforcement priority immigrants can stay with their families until Congress enacts immigration reform.
Pedro’s case clearly falls within the priority guidelines created by the Department of Homeland Security’s 2014 memorandum for apprehension, detention, and removal. He poses no threat to national security, border security, or public safety and is not a priority for deportation.
While Congress is ultimately responsible for permanently fixing our broken immigration policies, this decision by a local Immigration Customs Enforcement field office demonstrates what temporary relief looks like for families who live in constant fear that their loved ones could be deported at any moment.