A man from Peru who has been living in the U.S. for 15 years is fighting to stay in America and to keep his son -- who's battling serious illnesses -- here, where he can get the best medical attention.
He’s being forced out by immigration enforcement.
This story may very well highlight some of what’s wrong with immigration right now.
A hard-working family man who's lived a quiet life in America for 15 years is now being ordered back to the country he came from, and that could do great harm to his very sick son
“My dad is a good person. My mom is so hard-working. They both are,” said Luciana Ruiz.
The Ruiz family, Luciana, along with her father Rodrigo, mother Cynthia, older brother Adrian, and American born little brother Marcello, have had a life filled with challenges.
The family came here from Peru on a visitor’s visa 15 years ago.
In 2010, Rodrigo was served with a deportation order.
“He had overstayed his visa. We admitted that he had done that, but the true reason he had stayed is because the child was thriving,” said Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, who is the family’s attorney.
Adrian suffers from cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder, and is feeding tube dependent.
Saenz-Rodriguez has been the family’s attorney since they've been granted a stay of deportation each year for humanitarian reasons because of Adrian's health.
“When I received this notice, it's like, actually, I was in shock for like two days,” Rodrigo Ruiz said. “I don’t believe this happened just for me.”
This year, ICE informed the family that Rodrigo would have to return to Peru June 21.
"I thoroughly considered all relevant factors, including his immigration history, his equities in the United States, and the humanitarian concerns cited in your correspondence...I find the totality of circumstances do not support the favorable exercise of discretion. Accordingly, the application for a stay of deportation or removal...will be denied," the acting Dallas deputy director wrote.
“I say why? Why? He needs to stay here,” Rodrigo Ruiz added.
Ruiz is seemingly not an enforcement priority. He has no criminal record, not even a traffic ticket
Wife Cynthia cares for their son while Rodrigo works.
“He carries three jobs on his shoulders,” Luciana Ruiz said.
Rodrigo works as a surgery technician at Baylor Scott & White Plano, has a second job as a valet, and a third job housekeeping at an area hotel.
All this to provide for his family, including needed medical treatment for his son Adrian.
“Even the formula that saves his life is not available in Peru,” Saenz-Rodriguez said.
“We love this country. We love the people in this country,” Cynthia Ruiz said.
Saenz-Rodriguez has a dire prediction if the family has to return to Peru.
“For this family, quite frankly, it’s a death sentence for that little boy,” she said.
Appeals have been made on behalf of the Ruiz family to Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, as well as Representatives Mike McCaul and Van Taylor.