Shawnee couple fights deportation to keep family together

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When Idania Melgar met her husband she said it was love at first sight. They married and had two beautiful children.

"Every girl's dream," Melgar said.

In 2010, the family received heart breaking news: Their 4-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia.

"It has been tough, difficult, but he is a strong boy," Melgar said.

To help her son get the treatment he needed, Idania Melgar had to reveal something she had been hiding -- she was living here illegally.

"I decided to come to Miss Fergeson and tell her about my case, and she accepted," Melgar said.

Angela Ferguson is an immigration attorney. Melgar met with her to find out how she could become a U.S. citizen. Her parents brought her here from Honduras illegally when she was 17 years old.

In March, she will face a judge, who will decide whether she will be deported back to Honduras, possibly leaving her son who is sick behind.

The thought gives her nightmares.

"It is a horrible dream," she said.

Ferguson's caseload is overflowing with stories similar to Idania's. Immigration caseloads are so large in Missouri and Kansas that offices on both sides of the state line have doubled in size. Kansas City's Immigration Court is only a few years old, and it is backlogged with cases.

"We have a 55 mile-per-hour immigration law right now, and we need to increase the speed. We need to increase the number of visas, the way people are processed, (the current system) is not logical anymore," Ferguson said.

Ferguson said it is time to expand the current immigration system so families are not torn apart. Idania Melgar hopes her family can stay together.

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