Lyglenson Lemorin's life already read like a John Grisham novel with a particularly cruel ending: acquitted in court of cooked-up, Bush-era terrorism charges, the legal U.S. resident with no criminal record was deported anyway to his native, earthquake-ravaged Haiti, leaving his family behind in Miami.
Now Lemorin's tale has taken a positively Dickensian turn for the worse. Earlier this month his teenage son was killed in a gruesome highway accident, and Lemorin was denied permission to come back for the boy's funeral.
On April 1, his 15-year-old son Lukenson was riding with friends on I-95, heading toward a bowling alley, when their car died. As they got out to push the vehicle to the shoulder, a car clipped Lukenson, throwing him to the pavement and killing him on the spot.
Lemorin was devastated. "He kept asking me: 'What do I do? What do I do?' over and over," says Debbie Carter, a California activist who has worked with Lemorin throughout his legal case.
He applied to return for his son's funeral, held this past Saturday in Little Haiti, but ICE rejected the request, Carter says.
Charles Kuck, Lemorin's Atlanta-based counsel, says he talked to ICE lawyers who told him there was no chance he'd be allowed back for the funeral. "Given the notoriety of his case, they were never going to allow him to return, even in shackles," he says. "It's a travesty."
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(An ICE spokesman, though, tells Riptide that any request to return would have to be made through the State Department.)
To top it all off, now the family is struggling to pay the more than $10,000 in funeral costs. "In Haiti, he's got no job or income. He's really struggling," Carter says. "This family is desperate."
Interested in helping? Visit Carter's website here.