RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - David Chavez entered Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in Reno about 9 a.m. Friday, flanked by his reverend and a nurse who has drawn blood and monitored Chavez's medication. The two women were quickly turned away, and the 52-year-old attended the meeting with only his daughters.
Outside, a group of people representing churches, friends, and activists gathered to show support for this man they say has worked hard, paid taxes, and never harmed anyone.
“Seeing him go in there, I think if this were two years ago, or before this presidency, it would be a little bit of a different story,” says Daysi Rodriguez, a supporter of Chavez.
Chavez also has a genetic disorder called Marfan Syndrome which has compromised his heart. He is constantly monitored by medical personnel who have told ICE Chavez will not survive if he is deported back to his small Mexican village.
“Even if we could send the medication to him, he wouldn't be able to be monitored; therefore he could bleed to death, and of course eventually his heart will give out,” says Brook Walker, a Nurse Practitioner with Community Health Alliance.
Chavez came to this area 31 years ago and he says he worked legally.
Then through a series of misfiled legal documents, a minor traffic violation, and previous poor legal advice, he is out of compliance with ICE.
While he has received a series of extensions, supporters say they feel helpless, as there's no telling when the postponements will stop being granted.
“Somebody like David could be deported, with the man that he is and the contributor to the community he is, is tragedy,” says Reverend Karen with the Universal Universalist Church.
After 30 minutes, Chavez exited the building. With leg monitor, ICE says he must be out of the country within one month.
“I have hope because everyone is supporting me, and I trust in God,” says Chavez.
ICE is requiring Chavez buy a ticket to Mexico by the time the 30 days is up.
A written statement by ICE says, “Chavez entered the country unlawfully…and is required to depart the country in accordance with his final order of removal.”
No mention of Chavez’s medical condition or what his removal from this country means to his health.