Jesus Berrones, 30, is an illegal immigrant who has been deported twice before. ICE is once again set to deport him back to Mexico. Jesus first came to the U.S. in 1989 when he was around 18-months old. He and his wife and children reside in Glendale, Arizona. Unfortunately for Jesus, he does not qualify for the DACA program
Ordinarily I would say, ship his ass back to Mexico. But this is no ordinary case. Jesus has a pregnant wife and five children, all U.S. citizens. His five-year old son has leukemia. Jesus is the sole wage earner in the family.
Aside from being in this country illegally, the only other black mark on Jesus is that when he was 19, he got busted for driving with a fake license. For that he was deported in 2006 and again in 2010. Anyone with half a brain could predict that he would cross the border again to be with his family.
ICE, which was ready to deport him again in 2016, gave Jesus an extension because of his son’s leukemia. That extension expired and his application for another extension was denied. Instead he was ordered to report to ICE on Monday for immediate deportation. Rather than report as ordered, Jesus and his family took refuge Friday in the Shadow Rock United Church of Christ in Phoenix.
ICE has the authority to enter a church in order to arrest any illegal immigrants that may be sheltered there. However ICE has decided to consider churches as sanctuaries and has refrained from making any arrests there.
On Monday, under the weight of the adverse publicity this case has generated, ICE said that Jesus’ case is still under consideration. Then ICE followed that up by announcing it had granted Jesus Berrones a one-year stay of removal on humanitarian grounds.
President Trump has declared that his priority is for ICE to deport dangerous criminals and gangs like MS-13. Jesus’ fake license arrest hardly qualifies him as a dangerous criminal.
Let’s get real here. You’ve got a 30-year-old man here who was brought to this country when he was an 18-month old infant. He and his girlfriend, a U.S. citizen, started raising a family. (They did not get married until early last month.) Jesus has provided for his family by being steadily employed.
Jesus is not a burglar. He is not a gangbanger. He has posed no threat to public safety. He has been a productive member of society. It just doesn’t make good sense to deport this guy and force his family to go on the welfare rolls.
With well over 11 million illegal immigrants in this country, his deportation won’t make a dime’s worth of difference. I say, stop granting those temporary extensions and let Jesus stay in our country.