Couple looking to stay together with special immigration rule.

Hamilton family hopes special immigration law will allow them to stay together

By Michael D. Pitman

A Hamilton family is hoping a special immigration law will allow them to stay together in the United States.

Juan Carlos Moncada was arrested in 2015 by the Moraine Police Department for operating a vehicle while impaired. That arrest triggered deportation proceedings for Moncada, who entered the country illegally in November 2001 when he was 17 years old.

But Moncada and his wife, Lisa Sweeney, who is a natural-born citizen, are trying to fight the deportation because immigration law allows for undocumented immigrants legal residency through the “parole in place” program so long as they have a spouse, parent or child serving in the U.S. Armed Services. Sweeney’s son, and Moncada’s step-son, Mateo Flores is a specialist in the U.S. Army.

“I worry every day,” said Sweeney. “I don’t know what I would do if he goes back. I don’t know how I would provide for our kids. It’s just stressful; it’s stressful on the kids. They worry about losing their dad.”

However, it was only after Moncada’s legal troubles when the couple found out he could have applied for “parole in place” — a status Moncada should have applied for before his arrest in Moraine, said attorney Paul Shonk. But he and his wife were unaware of that part of the immigration law that was created during the Obama administration.

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