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Detroit immigrant family about to be deported can stay

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DETROIT – An immigrant family in Detroit with a disabled girl who was days before deportation is allowed to stay in the United States for another year, federal officials said.

The Michigan Immigration and Customs Bureau announcement came Friday after a Catholic group protested outside the Detroit office asking U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, for a family stay and a meeting between ICE Officials and a lawyer who represents the family.

“This is very good news,” said Kevin Piecuch, attorney for the Detroit Immigration and Refugee Center, of the decision to let the family stay for another year. “The family is as happy as possible.” The Detroit Free Press reported that an ICE spokeswoman did not return emails asking for comment.

Daris Bartolon and two daughters, one of whom was born with rickets that damaged her bones and kidneys, fled Guatemala in 2016 after saying they suffered domestic abuse by a man in that country.

Piecuch had applied for deportation based on the medical needs of Bartolon’s 15-year-old daughter, who began treatment at Shriner’s Hospital in Chicago. She had an operation over the summer and is now in a wheelchair, and according to the Free Press, her doctors say she needs more surgeries that she couldn’t get in Guatemala.

After the family’s application for political asylum was denied by an immigration judge and the Immigration Board of Appeal, ICE ordered the family removed from the country and informed the family to purchase a one-way ticket to Guatemala for a December 30 flight. The Free Press reported.

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Dusty Kennedy