Judge denies deportation stay for boy, 5, with head injury

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge rejected a request for an emergency stay Monday to require that a 5-year-old Guatemalan boy not be deported before he is seen by a pediatric neurologist, according to advocates for the child.

Lawyers for the child’s family plan to appeal Judge Stephen V. Wilson’s denial during a Monday hearing in California to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The boy’s aunt and his advocates say he has severe headaches, complains about hearing normal levels of sound, and suffers other symptoms they trace to his fall from a shopping cart in December. Shortly after he fell, a hospital diagnosed the child with a skull fracture and bleeding around his brain.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has defended the care it’s given to the 5-year-old, who ICE agents detained in January with his mother, father, and 1-year-old brother in its family detention center at Dilley, Texas. After multiple check-ups at Dilley, the agency says it took the child to a San Antonio hospital last week after concerns were first raised that he was still having symptoms. That hospital said the child’s MRI was normal and there were no signs that he still had bleeding in his skull. He was not taken to a pediatric neurologist

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With the mother having been ordered deported by an immigration judge, she and her two children could be flown to Guatemala this week unless a court intervenes. The children’s father was taken to a separate immigration jail in California.

ICE declined to comment Monday and the Department of Justice did not respond to a message.

Amy Maldonado, an immigration attorney working with the family, said she hoped the 9th Circuit would prevent the child’s deportation. The family’s lawyers have also asked for a court to prevent ICE from trying to immediately deport the family.

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