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Enquirer: “Paraplegic 6-year-old’s ‘Daddy’ faces deportation”

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Deportation would be “immoral and un-American”

Cleveland, OH – Another impending family tragedy in Ohio is just business-as-usual for the Trump Administration’s immigration agency today, as they prepare to deport yet another loving father and caregiver of a disabled American child.  The six year-old boy, who became paraplegic last year after a car accident, is a U.S. citizen.

Mark Curnutte of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes:

It would appear to be a commonplace deportation case, except that the future of a 6-year-old boy hangs in the balance. The fact is, it’s an example of the complicated, messy, no-win, real-life situations that U.S. immigration policy must untangle.

The mechanic, Yancarlos Mendez, is the sole supporter and one of two trained caregivers for the boy – a paraplegic U.S. citizen, severely injured in a car crash, who will need around-the-clock attention and treatment for the rest of his life.

At the heart of the immigration case is this child, Ricky Solis, born in November 2011 at University of Cincinnati Medical Center to an undocumented Guatemalan national.

Ricky’s personality sparkles despite his injuries, chronic pain and challenging long-term prognosis. He speaks softly and knows three languages – English, Spanish and Mam, one of many indigenous tongues of Guatemala – sometimes moving from one to another mid-sentence. He smiles and says one of his Christmas gifts was a toothbrush. At the end of an interview with his mother and the family’s lawyer, Ricky gives a reporter a fist-bump.

He brings a clear plastic bag filled with miniature cars and Fidget Spinners to his daily three-hour session at Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus.

“Where do you spin those?”

“Everywhere,” he says.

Ricky was riding in a booster seat in the back seat of the car driven by his mother, Sandra Mendoza, 24, when they were hit broadside in February 2017 on Dixie Highway in Fairfield.

Mendoza, who’d been working in a pizza restaurant, sustained a broken arm and leg and other serious injuries.

Ricky’s injuries were life-threatening. He was rushed Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. There, doctors treated him and began to catalog the long list of severe harm done to his little body. He fractured two vertebrae and suffered spinal cord bleeding, leading to permanent paralysis from the waist down. His bowel and bladder were ruptured and his colon torn. He had multiple facial bone fractures and traumatic brain injury. He is dependent on a tracheostomy that requires acute management. As a citizen, his medical expenses are covered by Medicaid.

The same Immigration and Customs Enforcement office that is targeting Yancarlos – directed in Detroit, MI by Rebecca Adducci – has a ruinous record of ripping loving fathers and mothers away from their American kids who need them.

Said Lynn Tramonte, Director of America’s Voice Ohio:

As an American, I want my government to use common sense when it comes to these life-altering deportation decisions. This President said he was going to deport ‘bad hombres,’ but the main thing he is doing differently from the previous president is targeting moms and dads of American kids.  They’re destroying families with little children at the center.  It’s immoral and un-American.

Ohioans all across the state are coming together in support of their neighbors, like Yancarlos, who are battling deportation despite their contributions.  On Christmas, the Akron Beacon Journal published an op-ed from Kathy Res about the work her group, the Akron Interfaith Immigration Advocates, is doing to support immigrants who have made Ohio their home.  She writes:

For the past several months, [AIIA has] accompanied immigrants to their immigration court hearings and “check-in” meetings with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); visited immigrants held in detention centers — local jails — while they wait for resolution of their cases; and supported U.S. citizen children left without parents after deportation.

Earlier this month, we held a party for children of undocumented parents, complete with a therapy dog, music, professional photographer, crafts and food. All children and teens who came to this gathering had lost a parent to deportation, or have parents in the process of being deported. Most of these children have been crushed by the loss of their parents, or the fear of losing their parents, or even the fear of being deported themselves….

What we have seen this past year is that people are kind-hearted and willing to go the extra mile for immigrants in Summit County.

Tramonte continued:

Many Ohioans are disgusted with the actions that our government is carrying out, in our name and with our tax dollars. Deporting fathers like Yancarlos helps no one and only serves to hurt the children that love and depend on them.