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When caretaker and financial supporter is subject to deportation

Not having a legal presence in the United States is stressful for many in California. In a recent case reported by USA Today, one such undocumented person is facing deportation under peculiar, and particularly heartbreaking, circumstances.

This 27-year-old man was arrested for the second time for driving without a driver's license and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Police alerted the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and he is now at risk of deportation because of his undocumented status. So far, this is a fairly standard deportation case.

However, this case different. 

Compelling circumstances as caretaker-supporter of disabled child

In 2011, a boy was born in the United States to an undocumented woman. Being born in the United States meant that the baby was automatically a United States citizen. Until recently, he was growing up with his mother and a father-figure, who is the 27-year-old man now at risk of deportation.

Tragically, in early 2017, the little boy was involved in a very serious car accident which has left him with many medical problems, including paralysis from the waist down. He also suffered traumatic brain injury and relies on a tracheostomy that requires ongoing management. Because he is a citizen, Medicaid covers his medical expenses.

Undocumented father-figure critical to child’s care

His mother and his father-figure are the only two people outside of the hospital now trained on how to specially care for him. Prior to the accident, both mother and father-figure worked and were self-supportive. Now, the little boy’s mother does not work outside of caring for her child's daily medical needs. The father-figure, however, continued to work as a mechanic and financially support his family until authorities arrested and detained him several weeks ago.

An attorney has applied to ICE for a stay of deportation based on the medical condition of the little boy and his need for around-the-clock special care that only his mother and father-figure can provide.

Although not yet technically the boy’s father, it remains unclear if his position as financial supporter and unique caregiver to this medically needy child could affect the U.S. government's decision to deport him. Immigration authorities are still deliberating.

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