Several years ago, Eva Gonzalez and her husband, Nahum Martinez, moved to Georgia from Mexico seeking a better life.
Their son, Angel Martinez, was diagnosed with Leukemia, and the family relocated from Albany to Atlanta to seek medical treatment. Angel was born in the United States, but his parents are here illegally.
“He had leukemia. He’s now in remission, but he still receives treatments monthly and has to be monitored by his medical providers for the next few years,” their attorney, Iliana Dobrev said.
Dobrev said she filed an application that would have allowed the family to remain in the U.S. while Angel received his treatments and follow-up care. But last year, the federal government denied it.
“I was very, very worried about their case,” Dobrev said.
The denial could have meant Angel’s parents could have faced deportation if they were caught by immigration authorities.
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“I was scared,” Nahum Martinez said.
But recently, Dobrev said the government had an about-face, and the family received “deferred action,” which will allow Angel’s parents to get driver’s licenses and work permits for the next three years. She said if immigration laws change, the family hopes to get a green card to remain here legally.
“This is a huge blessing for this family,” she said. “They can live a little bit more peacefully with less fear.”
Nahum Martinez said the decision means he can breathe a sigh of relief.
“I can stay with my family together, and I think nobody can separate,” he said.