Jesus Berrones is more than just an “undocumented immigrant.”
He is a hard working father of five with one on the way. Sadly, one of his children – his five-year-old son – is battling cancer.
He has now been ordered to appear by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be deported, according to the Huffington Post.
Berrones’ request for an extension to remain in the United States was denied by ICE on Thursday.
Berrones has been living in the US since he was one-and-a-half, when his parents brought him here.
It’s not clear if he initially entered the country lawfully.
When he was 19, in 2006, he was caught driving with a fake license and deported back to Mexico, his wife Sonia told the Post.
But he re-entered the country illegally twice to rejoin his family, all of whom live in Glendale, Arizona.
Berrones’ five-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia since 2016 and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
When the ICE first learned Jesus’ son had cancer he was told he could stay.
ICE has the ability to use its discretion to grant stays in certain cases. It has done so more than once on the grounds of a sick child.
But the Trump administration has been tough on immigration laws. Last month Berrones was issued a notice from ICE that he will be deported.
His lawyer refiled a request for a stay almost immediately, but it was denied.
‘He’s a hard-working man,’ Sonia told the Post as she wept.
Her husband is the family’s sole breadwinner. ‘We’re scared. The kids will ask me: “Where’s daddy?”‘
Berrones took refuge at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ in Phoenix Friday.
It is one of hundreds of ‘sanctuary churches’ nationwide that welcome immigrants facing deportation.
Immigrants are invited to live at these churches until they are no longer under threat of being kicked out of the country.
ICE has recognized that churches are ‘sensitive’ places that they do not go to when carrying out arrests.
‘We’re just fulfilling our mission to provide a safe place for people, to keep families together,’ Reverend Ken Heintzelman told the Post.
‘We think the immigration policy and its enforcement is unjust.’