MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A patient at St. Jude hospital is facing the possibility of being deported, according to his attorney.
For a 10-year-old boy in Memphis, St. Jude hospital has become his lifeline as he battles cancer.
“Now they’re getting follow-up treatments and care now that he is in remission,” said attorney Lily Axelrod.
The life-saving treatment was nearly cut off permanently after he and his mother were taken into custody by the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement Thursday, because of a deportation order from years ago.
“They got a letter saying ‘our office has moved, we want to update your information, please come in on this date and time’ and they did, and it turns out that letter was a lie,” Axelrod said.
Axelrod is their attorney and says once they got to the office they were held for several hours and eventually taken to the airport to go to a facility in Texas.
Leading up to this, Axelrod claims they were checking in with federal agencies and believed that they were unjustly taken into custody, prompting her post on social media, where it was shared hundreds of times.
“By any measure or any regime, this should not be a priority for enforcement, and I thought if ICE is going to try to do this in secret, people need to know about it,” Axelrod said.
Ultimately, the pair were let off the plane after Axelrod spoke with officials and now, they are working toward a path toward citizenship, following the threat of deportation.
“Mom tells me that he was pretty traumatized in tears yesterday and says he never wants to go back to that ICE office again,” Axelrod said.
WREG put in a request for comment from ICE but did not hear back from them. All St. Jude would say is that they treat patients from across the world.