US Government insists on deporting loving father of US citizens, caregiver to a disabled man, despite damage to family and society
Cleveland, OH – In a shameful and outrageous decision, the US Government has refused to grant Pedro Hernandez Ramirez another “stay” of deportation that would allow him to remain in Elyria to care for his family.
Pedro Hernandez Ramirez is the husband of US citizen Seleste Wisniewski and the father of four citizens, including nine-year-old Luis who idolizes his dad. Pedro is the primary caretaker of their eldest son, Juan, who is wheelchair-bound with cerebral palsy and several mental disabilities. Pedro is the only one in the household who can lift Juan in and out of his wheelchair.
Pedro had been granted stays of deportation in the past, given his special and singular role within the family. This time around, though, the government is refusing to exercise its authority and allow Pedro to remain in the United States.
Pedro has a valid work permit and an approved I-130 petition, which is the first step to a green card. He’s done everything possible to try to be here legally, but has run up against limitations in the law. The only option for him had been regular approvals of a deportation stay by the local ICE office.
Yesterday, The Plain Dealer reported that Cleveland Bishop Nelson Perez, in one of his first acts as leader of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, was asking the government to grant Pedro’s stay of deportation, and sat with Pedro while he awaited a check-in meeting with ICE. While Bishop Perez was not allowed to enter the interview room with Pedro and his attorney, he was able to pass along a letter of support and lead the family in prayer.
Before the stay was denied today, Pedro’s attorney David Leopold said this to The Chronicle-Telegram:
“There is this talk about getting rid of the ‘bad hombres,’ but they have Pedro, who takes care of a disabled man and loves his family,” he said. “To remove this man from his home is an absolute abomination.”
When asked if he thought the bishop’s plea would carry any weight, Leopold said he hoped it would.
“I would think so, because everyone involved in this case is a human being, including the ICE officials that have the power to make the right decision,” Leopold said. “I would hope that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and the fear of God to do the right thing.”
Similarly, Ohio Governor Kasich offered a dose of real talk at a media roundtable yesterday, urging the exercise of compassion and common sense in immigration matters. Unfortunately, that did not happen in Pedro’s case.
Lynn Tramonte, Director of America’s Voice-Ohio, said: “Nothing changed in Pedro’s status that should have led to a denial. Pedro is just as loving a father as ever. Juan, Luis, Seleste, and the entire family still need him as much as ever. The only thing that changed is the Administration. Compassion is no longer a factor in deportation decisions. It’s a rubber stamp for everyone, no matter how many lives—including the lives of US citizens, children, and disabled people—are shattered in the process. The cruelty our US government is exhibiting toward American families is boundless.”
But still, the family continues to fight. They are a loving unit and have a strong will to be together.
As Seleste stirringly told the The Chronicle-Telegram, speaking about the physical support and psychological comfort Pedro provides for their eldest son Juan:
“No ICE official can put a cap on the type of care my son deserves,” Wisniewski said in a text message sent lateTuesday. “Has anyone stopped to think how they would like to be trapped in his body? His body don’t work for him, but his mind does. I have fought for him for 28 years. He deserves more than he gets, he deserves to be respected.”
The family is praying for a miracle to change ICE officials’ hearts and minds. Pedro’s deportation is scheduled for Thursday, September 28, 2017.
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