(BIVN) – The Honaunau farmer and undocumented immigrant threatened with deportation to Mexico as early as today has been granted a 30-day stay by the Department of Homeland Security.
The temporary reprieve for Andres Magana Ortiz buys the Honaunau coffee grower time as the federal government considers Mr. Magana Ortiz’s wife’s Petition for Alien Relative.
In recent days, Magana Ortiz story has made national headlines and spurred action by Hawaii’s congressional delegation, who wrote Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on behalf of the coffee farmer. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard even urged Congress to pass a ‘private bill’ she introduced this week to help Magana Ortiz.
“This morning, Mr. Ortiz faced the possibility of immediate deportation, leaving his wife and three children behind. While today’s 30-day reprieve is a positive step, it does not resolve the underlying issues. I’ll continue to push legislative and other avenues to assist Mr. Ortiz and his family in their efforts to remain in the Kona community he has called home for nearly three decades,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Yesterday outside a Honolulu court, lawyers for Magana Ortiz indicated a reprieve may be in the works, after the judge ordered the parties to try to work something out before Thursday’s deadline.
“Today’s announcement is a positive step, but our work to keep Mr. Magana Ortiz with his family isn’t done yet,” said Senator Mazie Hirono, who delivered a 10-minute speech about Magana Ortiz today on the senate floor. “I call on the Department of Homeland Security to process the Magana Ortiz family’s application to bring Andres out of the shadows as quickly as possible to keep Andres together with his wife and kids. Andres’ ordeal speaks to the very real fear and anxiety spreading through immigrant communities across the country. We must pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship, and which prioritizes family unity.”
“Secretary Kelly, I renew our call once more: Let Andres stay in our country,” she said. “Let his children have a father present and active in their lives. It’s not too late to keep this family together.”