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ICE Knows Some Terrible Fucking Publicity When It Gets It, Gives Stay Of Deportation To Sick Baby’s Dad

Heading back home today! Now we just need that outcome for a few million more folks…

Jesus Berrones, the Phoenix man who was ordered to be deported even though his 5-year-old son has a rare form of leukemia, gets to go home to be with his family today. After national publicity surrounding his case, Immigration and Customs Enforcement yesterday afternoon granted Berrones a one-year stay of his deportation order, along with a permit to allow him to go back to work as a furniture upholsterer. We aren’t going to accuse ICE of having suddenly acquired even basic decency, but the agency apparently knows what terrible publicity looks like, and decided not to raid the church where Berrones had sought sanctuary.

As we noted yesterday, Jesus Berrones, 30, was brought to the US illegally when he was a baby himself, and has lived his entire life here. His wife, Sonia, and their five children are all citizens, and he’s the only one able to give Jayden his chemo meds because Sonia is pregnant — inhaling fumes from the open pill bottle could cause birth defects. Jesus had been under a deportation order previously, but had been granted a stay in 2016; in December, ICE rejected his request for another stay and told him he’d be deported. Instead, he sought sanctuary at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ, where he’s been since Friday.

Then yesterday, Berrones received a notice that he’d been given a new one-year stay and work permit. ICE’s Phoenix office issued the tersest possible statement:

In an exercise of discretion, ICE has granted Jesus Armando Berrones-Balderas a one-year stay of removal on humanitarian grounds […] ICE issued a previous one-year stay in June 2016.

ICE has routinely given stays of deportation to parents of gravely ill children, so December’s denial and the subsequent demand that he turn himself in yesterday to be deported was seen as a harsher twist in the Trump administration’s approach to deportations. While this renewed stay is fantastic news for the Berrones family, let’s not laud ICE too much for doing the bare minimum to accommodate a medical crisis — and under Donald Trump’s deport-everyone regime, Jesus Berrones will still be targeted for removal at the end of Jayden’s treatment, expected to take another two years. Jesus was too old to qualify for DACA; it’s unclear whether he’d be helped by Trump’s proposed deal to fix that program, which also demands huge cuts in legal immigration, forever.

Mr. Berrones stayed one more night at the church Monday, and is planning to return home today. Elsewhere across America, the New Cruelty marches on, scooping up far more people with no criminal convictions than the Bad Hombres Trump insisted would be targeted — which is exactly what his white supremacist base wants.

The Shadow Rock UCC will continue to shelter at least four other people from ICE, because clearly these are some Christians who’ve read the manual, especially that stuff in Matthew 25 about how we should treat everyone: as family. The church’s FAQ on why it provides sanctuary is quite simply wonderful:

Um, should you be telling us that you’re hiding people in your church?

No, because we’re not hiding anyone. When we bring a guest into sanctuary, we notify ICE, and even hold a press conference. Our guests remain on our campus while they’re in sanctuary, but we’re not squirreling them away in the choir loft.

The church has also set up a special Immigration Issues Fund to support its sanctuary work; if you want to send them a few Ameros, that donation is separate from the church’s general operations account. It’s a good reminder that for all the horrors of the Trump years, there are plenty of people who aren’t going to stand for it.

And for god’s sake, make sure everyone you know is registered and votes in November. This madness has to end.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Click here to help. Today, we’d be just as happy if you sent a few dollars to the Shadow Mountain UCC’s Immigration Issues fund.

[CBS News / Tucson.com / WaPo]

Source: Politics – Wonkette

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