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Pedro is “Backbone of Our Family,” Says Wife Seleste
Elyria, OH – Today, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published the heartbreaking story of Pedro Hernandez-Ramirez, a man who has lived in the United States for fifteen years, is a devoted husband to wife Seleste Wisniewski, a U.S. citizen, and a father to four U.S. citizen children in Elyria, OH.
Despite having a valid work permit, Pedro is set to be deported this Thursday in the U.S. government’s eagerness to deport as many people as possible before the end of the fiscal year.
Pedro and Seleste’s eldest son, Juan, suffers from severe mental disabilities and cerebral palsy. Pedro is Juan’s primary caretakerand the only family member strong enough to lift Juan from his wheelchair. Pedro is also a constant support and guide for his 9-year-old son, Luis, also a citizen. According to a friend and neighbor of the family, Luis “idolizes his dad and dreams to be just like him.”
Michael Sangiacomo at the Plain Dealer reports:
For almost 14 years, Pedro Hernandez-Ramirez has cared for his stepson. He bathes him, cleans his feeding tube and lifts him in and out of the bed where he spends most of his time due to cerebral palsy and mental disabilities.
After years of allowing Hernandez-Ramirez to stay here to care for the young man, immigration officials demand he be deported Mexico. He is set to get on a plane on Thursday.
This would leave his American wife to care for her 28-year-old son, Juan Pino, by herself, something she says she is physically unable to do.
Seleste Wisniewski said she may have to put her son in a skilled nursing facility at taxpayers’ expense.
The family’s lawyer said the government’s move doesn’t make sense.
“The American taxpayer is 10 times better off allowing Pedro to continue what he is doing than putting the burden on the Ohio taxpayers. This is just common sense,” said lawyer David Leopold of Cleveland.
Leopold calls Hernandez-Ramirez the latest victim of the “cruel policies of immigration enforcement under (President Donald) Trump.”
“This is nothing but cruelty,” he said. “There is no reason to banish this man from the family. He has been working, paying taxes and caring for his step-son for 14 years. And ICE has allowed him to stay here for years. If he is deported, Juan may well end up in a nursing facility at taxpayers’ expense.”
According to Lynn Tramonte, Director of America’s Voice-Ohio:
Like Jesus Lara before him, Pedro Hernández is a hard working dad who plays a critical role in his kids’ lives. Like Jesus, he has a legal work permit. And like Jesus, the U.S. government is aggressively trying to deport him.
There’s no common sense or humanity at play. A lot of lives will be broken if this gets carried out. A loving family will become two households, divided. A dad who is there for his kids every day will be sent far away. His youngest kid will grow up without his father’s steady hand, and his oldest child will suffer a loss of physical, emotional, and financial support.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The US government, and Rebecca Adducci at ICE, have just a few days left to reverse this preventable tragedy and let Pedro stay with his family. As they have in years past, they should grant Pedro a stay of deportation and put this nightmare to bed.
On September 19, 2017, David Leopold, Pedro’s immigration attorney, filed a new stay of deportation. To date there’s been no response from the government. Pedro has a legal work permit and has done everything possible to try to become a legal U.S. citizen.
According to Seleste, Pedro’s wife, “Pedro is the backbone of our family. It is emotionally killing us. There aren’t words to describe how we would feel if he is taken from us.”
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