Backed by his community—and a powerful ally—a Hailey man facing deportation in April was granted at least another year in the U.S. to continue to care for his disabled daughter.
With urging from Sen. Mike Crapo, Immigration and Customs Enforcement backtracked on an earlier decision to remove Alfonso Chanco from the country, instead issuing a renewable order of supervision on April 2 that will allow him to stay lawfully for one year, according to his attorney, Amanda Breen.
“Obviously, Alfonso and his family are thrilled and relieved,” Breen said.
Chanco, an undocumented immigrant from Peru whose story was covered in August by the Idaho Mountain Express, is the primary provider for his family. He’s also a key caretaker for his high-school-age daughter, Rubi, who suffers from a rare musculoskeletal disorder called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, which renders her bound to an electric wheelchair. Despite a lifetime of surgeries and continuous therapy, she requires constant care and financial support. She likely always will.
This spring, Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City committed to providing orthopedic care for Rubi until she turns 21—evidence that likely helped sway the decision, Breen told the Idaho Mountain Express.
“I think that made a big difference,” she said.
Crapo’s Twin Falls office, which was previously instrumental in extending Chanco’s latest deadline from October to April, contacted “multiple people” at ICE and the Board of Immigration Appeals in support of Chanco’s case, Breen said.
As of press deadline Tuesday, Crapo’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
The directive re-turns Chanco to the practice he followed from 2012 until 2017, when he was ordered out by immigration enforcement. Under the renewed terms, he will be able to legally live in the U.S., get employment authorization and obtain a driver’s license.
Meanwhile, he awaits a ruling from the Board of Immigration Appeals on his ability to stay on a long-term basis.
Until then, his current status, though firmer than before, remains at the discretion of federal immigration enforcement.
“While the sense that I got from ICE when they issued this decision is that they will continue to renew the order for several years, there’s no hard or soft deadline of when that continued grant of permission to stay will end,” Breen said.