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Sat Apr 20, 2019, 08:59 PM

A suburban Chicago man was diagnosed with cancer while in prison. Now ICE is deporting him to Mexico

CHICAGO - The family of Luis Ugalde-Pacheco worried that he would die in immigration custody. Now they fear he will die in a country he barely knows.

Ugalde-Pacheco, 28, who was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, was deported to Mexico on Friday, according to his attorney. He'd called Chicago's southwest suburbs home since he was about 7 years old when he came to the United States illegally with his father, said Lourdes Cristina Pacheco, his mother.

In March, he was placed into the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which began deportation proceedings. That was after he completed a two-year prison sentence for felony convictions of intimidation and aggravated battery for threatening and pushing a woman.

It was at the end of that prison stint that he was diagnosed with cancer, according to medical records provided by his attorney. Since then, his advocates have fought for him to receive medical treatment for his lymphoma, which they say ICE did not provide.

But their efforts shifted abruptly this week when they learned that ICE planned to swiftly deport him to Mexico, which apparently happened on Friday, though the immigration agency did not confirm that.

Thursday, his mother and his girlfriend, Elida Arriaga, rushed to Kankakee County Jail, where ICE was holding Ugalde-Pacheco, to drop off a bag of clothing for him. His mother - worried about where exactly her son will end up and whether she will see him again - shed tears outside the jail.


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