MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida woman who was on the brink of being kicked out of the U.S. because she and her parents were in the country illegally can thank the Obama administration for giving her a break.
At the end of last year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ordered 21-year old Milena Diaz and her parents to leave the U.S. While Diaz’s parents were deported, she was allowed to stay because she was pregnant. Immigration services said they would delay her departure until after the child’s birth. The caveat, however, was that she had to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet so that they could keep tabs on her location.
Diaz recently gave birth and on Monday, thanks to the efforts of her attorney Nera Sherfer, had her bracelet remove by the Homeland Security.
Sherfer said Diaz is the first “Child Arrival” in the state who has had their bracelet removed since the USCIS began taking applications last week from children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents and who sought a two-year deferment from being deported. She is now working on the deferment application.
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama directed his administration to stop deporting children who were brought to this country illegally by their parents. The president issued the directive, which affects about 800,000 kids, after efforts to pass the so-called Dream Act were repeatedly stymied by Republicans in Congress.
On June 15th, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain people who came to the U.S. as children, and met certain key guidelines, would, on a case-by-case basis, be considered for deferred action.
“Childhood arrivals who meet the guidelines and whose cases are deferred will now be able to live without fear of removal, and be able to more fully contribute their talents to our great nation,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas.
South Florida’s Daniela Pelaez, the 18-year-old valedictorian of North Miami Senior High, became the poster child for this issue. She received a two-year reprieve last March after she and her sister were asked to leave the country.
Sherfer also represented Palaez in her successful campaign to stay in the U.S.