Houston immigrants challenged with disabilities fear deportation

- From the outside, you'd never suspect a source of salvation.

Within the unmarked, west side store front, wheels take the place of legs left useless by work place injuries and auto accidents.

"We came to this country to work. We are good people," said Noe Ramirez, President of the Living Hope Wheelchair Association.

The incapacitated limbs, wrecked on American highways or construction sites, belong to immigrants, often released from hospitals without a shred of support - no wheel chairs, no catheters, no means of personal sanitation.

Without a safety net, newcomers like Ramirez had no choice, but to create their own.

"We started to help ourselves and to help everyone who suffered a spinal cord injury like us," said Ramirez.

"When you are an immigrant worker and your body breaks, suddenly you have no more value for this society and they push you to the side," added Francisco Arguelles, Executive Director of LHWA.

For a dozen years the members of Living Hope have quietly delivered to fellow injured immigrants, the medical supplies, their adopted country would not.

These days that struggle is compounded by a growing fear.

"People is scared in their home that ICE come and take our family. When it happens it destroys the family because the children stay here and nobody cares about them, it not safe, the family is broken," said Ramirez.

While some who come to Living Hope have documentation, others do not. For many deportation to the homelands they escaped will end in suffering or worse.

"Right now if you are from certain areas of Mexico or from Honduras or El Salvador, sometimes deportation means a death sentence, because the level of violence because of the war on drugs," said Arguelles.

And so, from men who've lost much, but still give, a simple message for America.

"We love this country because this country helping us much and not all the people is bad, the majority of the people is good people like us," said Ramirez.

Sustained by faith and mission through this uncertain future, they roll on.

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