Reno Resident with Life-Threatening Illness Deported Friday - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Reno Resident with Life-Threatening Illness Deported Friday

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported a man who had been living in Reno for 30 years, back to Mexico today. 

The husband and father of four was deported after his six month stay of deportation was up. Community activists tried last ditch efforts to stop it, but were unsuccessful. 

David Chavez-Macias checked in at ICE offices in Reno, Friday morning. First, he spoke to a group of supporters who came to say their goodbyes.

Alejandra Hernández Chávez, Community Organizer for Acting in Community Together in Northern Nevada (ACTIONN), translated, "He just said thank you for everyone who has supported me, we were unfortunately unable to change the situation." 

Kathi Hoy-Bianchi said, "I think it's wrong, I think that his deportation is just completely immoral."

Supporters today said they wanted to honor the man they described as a model citizen.

J.D. Klippenstein, Executive Director for ACTIONN said, "He assumed he had some type of legal status, he was ill-advised, received really poor legal advice, was taken advantage of honestly." Klippenstein continued, "He's a family man, a good neighbor, he's the kind of person we want in our community."

Supporters formed a prayer circle, praying for his safety, before Chavez-Macias turned himself in, accompanied by his daughter. He was officially detained before ICE took him to the airport, where he boarded a plane back to Mexico around 5 P.M.

When we reached out to ICE for comment, a spokeswoman said in an email, "Mr. Chavez, a native of Mexico, entered the U.S. unlawfully in October 1998. He was ordered removed by an immigration judge in November 1996. A request for a stay of removal was granted for six months, which concluded Feb. 12. He is required to depart the country in accordance with his final order of removal."

Chavez-Macias will likely go live with his mother, the only family he has in Mexico. 

Original Story:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement could be sending a local man with a life-threatening health condition back to Mexico.

David Chavez has lived in Reno since 1986, thinking he'd gained U.S. citizenship. However, because of what he calls a problem during the application process, he's now facing deportation.

On the outside, Chavez doesn't look sick, but on the inside, he faces daily issues.

“Coming here every week, every other week, once a month, depending on how I’m doing,” says Chavez.

Chavez has Marfan syndrome, a condition that puts him at a high risk of having problems with his heart and the main artery inside the body.

"If his blood gets too thin, he can bleed, and even bleed to death. If it's too thick, then he can throw a blood clot and die that way as well; he's in a tenuous situation,” said Brook Walker, a nurse practitioner with the Community Health Alliance.

Walker says she and other doctors monitor his health very closely because of the severity of his sickness. That could all change soon if ICE deports Chavez back to Mexico.

"I got called by immigration on Monday. My 6 month probation ends next week,” said Chavez.

His doctor fears that, if he has to move, he won't receive the treatment he needs.

“He will probably die, he's not going to have access to this kind of health care,” said Walker.

Walker says other doctors have written letters to immigration, asking that Chavez be granted stay for medical reasons. As for Chavez, he says America has much more than just the health care he needs.

“The best joy of a dad is to have his family together, and that's one of the most important things in my life -- to have my family all together and to provide for them,” said Chavez.

A few weeks ago, Chavez’s doctors told him he needs another surgery, but the court could send him back to Mexico as early as Friday.

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