Phoenix Father Faces Deportation as Wife Is Pregnant and 5-Year-Old Son Battles Leukemia


Jesus Berrones has a wife who is five months pregnant and a 5-year-old son who is fighting leukemia, and now the 30-year-old, who has lived in the United States since he was a toddler, is facing deportation.

Berrones has been told to surrender to immigration officers on Monday.

Instead, he has been given sanctuary at the Shadow Rock United Church of Christ in Phoenix, where he and his wife, Sonia, are now staying with their five children. 

“I will fight to stay here,” Berrones told CBS News. His parents migrated to America in 1989, bringing a very young Berrones with them. This country is the only home he remembers.

He is now the sole financial supporter of his wife and five children. His wife, Sonia, is unsure how they would survive if her husband is deported. 

“His kids need him,” she said. “I need him.” His wife and children are U.S. citizens.

He has been ordered out of the county twice before, in 2006 and 2010, and both times he managed to sneak back in, once by crossing the Arizona desert. 

Berrones does not qualify for DACA consideration. His latest appeal to stay in the country was denied Thursday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Rev. Ken Heintzelman says Berrones should be allowed to stay. “He shouldn’t be prosecuted. He should be lifted up, used as an example of what it means to be a father.

Berrones’ attorney, Garrett Wilkes, is awaiting word from ICE, he told Monday. Meanwhile, Berrones and his family are inside the church, praying for help.

Immigration officials cannot enter the sanctuary without a warrant signed by a judge, Wilkes said.


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