Yancarlos Mendez, a dual citizen of Spain and the Dominican Republic living illegally in the United States, was stopped for driving without a license, his second such offense.
Sam Greene/The Enquirer
CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court granted a stay of deportation Friday afternoon for the caregiver of a paraplegic boy who was hospitalized Thursday night, days after immigration officials took the man into custody.
Yancarlos Mendez Perez, 27, of Springdale, Ohio, is engaged to the mother of a 6-year-old Ricky Solis, who was seriously injured and paralyzed from the waist down in an auto accident in February in nearby Fairfield, Ohio. Staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center trained him on how to care for Ricky’s complex medical needs, and Mendez has helped Ricky and his mother since 2014.
“We got the order from 6th Circuit granting stay of deportation!!!” one of Mendez’s lawyers, Nazly Mamedova, said in email. “AMAZING CLERKS at 6th!! We are very thankful they stayed through snow and processed the stay.”
Mendez, who is in federal immigration custody about 150 miles away in Mount Gilead, Ohio, could have been deported to the Dominican Republic as early as Saturday, according to documents filed with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
► Jan. 8: Despite social media outcry, paraplegic boy’s ‘Daddy’ to be deported
► Jan. 5: ICE to move forward with deportation of paraplegic boy’s caregiver
► Jan. 4: Paraplegic 6-year-old’s ‘Daddy’ faces deportation
Lawyers Charleston Wang and Mamedova had asked a single judge on the appeals court to postpone Mendez’s deportation until the court can consider his case. The filing states that the normal course for appeal, through the federal Board of Immigration Appeals, has been closed off to Mendez.
Mendez’s legal team also had filed a direct appeal Friday to immigration officials in Washington. Mamedova had filed an appeal Dec. 27 for a one-year suspension of deportation to U.S. Immigration and Enforcement officials in the Detroit regional office, but they denied it Jan. 4.
Yancarlos Mendez Perez, 27, poses with his finance’s son, Ricky Solis, in the hospital after a near-fatal car crash that left the child paralyzed from the waist down. (Photo: Courtesy of Sandra Mendoza)
The December appeal had stated the extreme hardship that would be inflicted on Ricky and his mother, Sandra Mendoza, if Mendez were forced to leave.
Ricky was readmitted Thursday to Cincinnati Children Hospital suffering from internal bleeding related to bowel, colon and bladder injuries suffered in the crash. Surgery scheduled for February has been moved up to this coming week.
“Ricky’s health has worsened,” Mamedova said.
After the decision from the Detroit ICE office, social media exploded in sympathy for the family. Activists called for immigration officials to allow Mendez to be reunited with his family.
A suitcase of Mendez’s personal belongings was delivered to him at the jail, north of Columbus, and an itinerary for his deportation to the Dominican Republic had been set, Mamedova said earlier Friday.
Mendez, an auto mechanic with dual Dominican and Spanish citizenship, was stopped a second time in November in Butler County, Ohio, for driving without a license. He was sentenced Nov. 29 to 30 days in the Butler County Jail.
Jail officials informed ICE that they were holding him.
► Oct. 17: Sanctuary seeker finds refuge from deportation at Colorado church
► Aug. 7: Bishop asks ICE to keep mom of child with cancer in U.S.
Mendoza, 24, a Guatemalan national, had to quit her job in a pizza restaurant to care for her son around the clock.
In their rejection letter, Detroit immigration officials wrote that Mendez overstayed a visa, so he had forfeited his right to a hearing before an immigration judge.
Follow Mark Curnutte on Twitter: @MarkCurnutte
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