Pedro Hernandez-Ramirez and his wife Seleste live in Ohio with their four children (ages 24, 21, 16, and 5). While Pedro is not the biological father of the three eldest, he considers them to be his children and they call him Dad. The couple’s oldest son, Juan, has cerebral palsy and is entirely dependent upon others to take care of his basic needs. Pedro participates fully in Juan’s care which includes tube feeding and diaper changes, and has done so since Juan was about 14 years old. He is the only one in the family who can carry Juan from the bed to the bath and back to the bed, from the bed to the wheelchair and from the wheelchair to the bed, to the car for a medical appointment or outing and then into the wheelchair. Seleste also has a physical disability and cannot lift her son.
Pedro came to the United States from Mexico over 10 years ago in search of a job, and built his life with Seleste in Elyria. After returning from his son’s daycare one day, the Border Patrol mysteriously showed up at his home and arrested Pedro. He was deported earlier this year, and returned to the United States because he knew that his family was suffering without him and needed his help—everyone in the family, but especially Juan.
Pedro was a fire-fighter in Mexico, and he has a kind heart. He is exactly the sort of person America should welcome with open arms, not expel. You can hear how important he is to the family by watching videos of his wife, Seleste (A version in Spanish is here):
A June 2011 memo from ICE Director John Morton lays out numerous factors that the agency is supposed to weigh before making the decision to deport someone. Pedro meets multiple criteria that weigh in favor of an exercise of discretion, including his length of residence in the U.S., the fact that he is married to a U.S. citizen and the father of four U.S. citizens, and because he is the “primary caretaker of a person with a mental or physical disability.” The Detroit Field Office of ICE ignored all of these equities, separating this man from his family and bringing great pain to the lives of five U.S. citizens who desperately need him in their lives.
This was the wrong decision, and now ICE is preparing to make it again. Pedro is currently being held in the Geauga County (Ohio) Jail, and could be deported this week.
Please contact ICE today. Tell Rebecca Adducci, Director of the Detroit ICE Office, and other key DHS and ICE officials: Don’t Deport Pedro.
Caring for Juan will never get easier, only tougher as he gets older, and Pedro’s family has already suffered enough. The Administration should grant Pedro deferred action so that he can remain in the U.S. with his family and continue to care for them.
If Congress passes immigration reform, it is likely that Pedro would qualify for immigration status and eventually citizenship. This is all the more reason for ICE to step in now and grant Pedro deferred action until Congress can finish its job.
Help keep Pedro with his family: Please contact ICE today.