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Man avoids deportation because of sick son's condition

Should the illegal immigrant parent of a seriously ill child be forced to leave the country? Such questions are encountered in jurisdictions throughout the U.S., including Texas. In one recent case, a Honduran man has been allowed to stay in the country after immigration officials were informed that he must undergo genetic testing. The reason: His genes could hold the answer to treatment protocols for his seriously ill son. The 26-year-old man had faced a threat of deportation after being arrested in January because of traffic violations.

Now, though, the man will be permitted to stay in the country so that he can receive genetic tests that could prove critical to his son's survival. The man's 7-month-old son suffers from a pancreatic disorder. By testing the father's genes, physicians can determine an appropriate course of treatment; in one case, just 15 percent of the boy's pancreas would need to be removed, but in the other, up to 95 percent would be taken.

Even though immigration officials say they acted as soon as they discovered that the man required the testing, attorneys in the case have used the situation to represent the heartless immigration policy that so many are looking to reform. Immigration and Customs Enforcement administrators say that the attorney did not mention the medical condition at first. As soon as that information came to light, though, ICE conducted a thorough review and decided to provide a stay of deportation.

Illegal immigrants with certain special circumstances may be eligible for specific protections under existing immigration law. An immigration attorney in Texas may be able to provide more information for individual clients after evaluating their life situations. Professional legal help may make the difference between being deported and staying in the U.S. with family and friends.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "NJ man's deportation stopped after his baby's rare ailment requires testing" Tom Wright-Piersanti, Feb. 26, 2014

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