Court lifts stay of deportation for paraplegic boy's caretaker

CINCINNATI -- A Springdale man who acts as a full-time caregiver to his fiancee's paraplegic son lost an appeal for a continued stay of deportation on Wednesday, according to court documents.

Although his fiancee said Yancarlos Mendez Perez, who overstayed a Spanish visa in 2015, is a crucial part of her son's ability to lead a safe, healthy life and would "irreparably injure" the family if he were deported, "there is no likelihood of success" on the legal merits of his case, judges Amul Thapar, Raymond Kethledge and David McKeague found.

Mendez Perez has been separated from said fiancee, Sandra Mendoza, and would-be stepson, Ricky Solis, since Nov. 29, 2017.

Solis became disabled after a car crash in 2016, and both of his guardians work around the clock to keep his health stable.

"We have to take care of Ricky 24 hours and seven days a week," Mendoza said. "Ricky is on a ventilator at night; he needs therapy twice a week. (When Mendez Perez was arrested) I cried because I never thought this was gong to happen to us, never."

Mendoza, Mendez Perez and their legal team have argued that removing him from the country would be inhumane and impose an unjust burden on both Mendoza and her son.

A Sixth Circuit judge granted Mendez Perez's request for an emergency stay of removal on Jan. 4, but lifted it on Wednesday after finding the removal order was legal.

"Our review is limited to two questions: First, whether Mendez Perez entered the country through the Visa Waver Program; and second, whether he sought asylum," the ruling reads, noting the answer to the first query is yes and the second is no. "Hence we cannot stay Mendez Perez's removal because of any alleged defect in that order."

The court added that Mendez Perez's humanitarian -- "equitable" -- case was strong, but the Sixth Circuit could not contest it in cases where the removal order was not legally flawed.

"We cannot grant a stay of removal when there is no likelihood of success on the legal merits, even when the equities favor (Mendez Perez)," the finding reads.

Mendoza and Mendez Perez had hoped to marry this week to strengthen his legal case for remaining in the United States.

The couple has a marriage license, but an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official would need to grant them permission to hold a ceremony.

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