Married five days ago in a jailhouse wedding, a suburban Cincinnati man found himself Tuesday one step closer to deportation.
Yancarlos Mendez, 27, of Springdale, Ohio, was taken overnight to a federal detention center in Louisiana, the final move before he will be put on a plane for his native Dominican Republic. The Bayou State has three immigration detention centers in Basile, Jena and Oakdale, and his records did not come up in a search of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Online Detainee Locator System.
His lawyers confirmed the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement decision to proceed with Mendez's removal. He overstayed a 90-day non-visa waiver by more than two years, according to agency officials.
Late Monday, lawyers Charleston Wang and Nazly Mamedova completed an emergency application for a stay of removal that says "irreparable harm will befall a 6-year-old paraplegic boy named Ricky Solis." The son of Mendez's wife, Sanda Mendoza, is now legally related to Mendez as his stepfather.
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Mendez's lawyers submitted the application overnight to Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. She has jurisdiction over the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which this past week overturned its previous stay of Mendez's deportation.
Mendez, an auto mechanic, financially supported his fiancée and her son and has training from Cincinnati Children's Hospital staff to care for Ricky's extensive medical needs.
Ricky traveled last week with his mother and the family's ministers to the Morrow County Jail in Mount Gilead, Ohio, an hour north of Columbus, for the wedding. He was not allowed in the jail's secure area, where the ceremony took place.
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"We have one last chance, one last chance," Mendoza said.
She spoke Monday on the phone with her husband.
"I tried to cheer him up and tell him not to be sad," she said. "It is so difficult."
Ricky was injured in a car crash a year ago in the Cincinnati suburb of Fairfield, Ohio. Mendez proposed shortly after the incident and lived in Ricky's hospital room with his fiancée for several months until the boy's release.
Mendez was detained and turned over to the federal government after he was stopped in November for driving without a license.
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