Cleveland, OH — Pedro Hernandez’s body lives in Mexico, but his heart is in Elyria.
The “gentle giant,” hardworking and kind man was deported away from his American wife, Seleste, and American children in September 2017, via President Trump’s mass deportation policy.
Previously, Pedro qualified for a work permit under an exercise of prosecutorial discretion (i.e. he wasn’t a priority for deportation because of his good character and his contributions). He worked hard to support his family, paid taxes, and was also the primary caretaker for his young adult son Juan, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy. Pedro was the only one in the family who could lift Juan into and out of his bed, wheelchair, and bath.
Now, more than six months after his deportation, the family is deep in mourning and struggling to get through each day. The searing piece from Univision’s “Aqui y Ahora” offers an intimate view into what “life” is like after deportation, interviewing Pedro in Mexico, and Seleste and daughter Stephanie at home in Elyria. Talking about her daily phone call with Pedro, Seleste says: “I tell him I’m good, I’m OK, but in reality I’m just to the breaking point.”
AV Ohio’s Lynn Tramonte is also interviewed about why Ohio is one of the strictest states for undocumented immigrants.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to try to help Seleste and family through this difficult time: https://www.gofundme.com/n3vte-help-seleste.