An unfortunate immigration case in Cincinnati highlights the reasons why immigrants need to take their legal status seriously in the United States. A 27-year-old man who has been helping to financially support and provide care to his 6-year-old paraplegic stepson was recently deported. Now, the boy will not be able to receive the care his stepfather once generously gave.
The stepfather has been deported back to the Dominican Republic after being detained for three weeks at an immigration center in Louisiana. Prior to being held in Louisiana, the man had been detained in a federal holding center located in Ohio.
The man's wife said in a recent statement to reporters, "We are sad, but unfortunately we cannot do anything else." The woman said that she has yet to inform her young son that his stepfather had been sent back to the Dominican Republic. She said that her son continues to ask where "Daddy" is and when he's coming home.
According to court records, the family remained in the United States rather than moving to Spain -- where the stepfather has dual citizenship -- because the advanced medical care required by their paraplegic son is only available in the United States. Originally, the stepfather entered the United States lawfully through a Visa Waiver Program (VWP), but he violated the program by staying beyond the two-year time frame he was allowed. By participating in the VWP, the man waived his right to an immigration hearing and he was subject to detention.
Individuals who have overstayed their visas in the United States need to make sure they fully understand their legal situations and the various solutions available to them. This will help them choose the most appropriate immigration law strategies to either stay in the United States, or -- at the very least -- avoid getting into trouble with the law.
Source: USA Today, "U.S. deports paraplegic boy's stepfather, caregiver," Mark Curnutte, March 08, 2018