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Immigration problems plague father who cares for disabled child

Although those outside the system may view deportation as a black and white process -- send illegal immigrants home, at all costs -- a variety of humanitarian complications can add speed bumps to the enforcement of general immigration guidelines. Families in Texas may be caring for a disabled child or parent, for example. Immigration detention could compromise a parent's ability to care for his or her child. One family in Florida is on the brink of suffering such a disaster, as a woman's father is facing deportation back to his home country of Jamaica. The disabled woman is a U.S. citizen.

The man's 22-year-old daughter is quadriplegic because of ailments that have affected her since birth. She requires constant nursing care and the use of a ventilator. Now, the woman's future is in danger because of a depleted guardianship account. Her father alleges that a financial services company squandered the girl's $5 million in assets, which were ostensibly to be used to pay for her ongoing care. A nonprofit group has filed a lawsuit against the financial services company in hopes of recovering some of the money.

In the meantime, the woman's father is facing removal proceedings after following the correct processes to file for citizenship. The man had pleaded no contest to criminal charges related to marijuana. Immigration officials discovered that he was serving community supervision in connection with the 2009 felony case.

Without her father's presence, the woman would likely be placed in a nursing home. Immigration attorneys say the case is certainly not like most straightforward deportation proceedings, considering that the woman's health and welfare are at stake. Immigration authorities should consider all aspects of a case before deciding to deport someone. A Texas attorney may be able to help those who are facing similar difficulties with their own immigration proceedings.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "For brain-damaged Lauderhill woman, a 'nightmarish situation'" Mike Clary, Feb. 15, 2014

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