Litchfield resident Denada Rondos was under orders from immigration officials to board a plane to her native Albania Monday, but the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has intervened at the last minute and granted her an emergency stay. Rondos described it as "the best day of her life."
“It's a great feeling knowing that I will raise my children in a country of equality where they are safe, they can have a future,” said Rondos. “That's what any parent would want for their children.
The deportation stay is temporary while she pursues an asylum claim, and a review of her original removal order from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
Denada Rondos entered the country on a forged passport to escape religious persecution in Albania when she was 17 years old. Rondos's lawyer Erin O'Neill-Baker said this type of immigration fraud usually makes someone ineligible for permanent residency, but the Rondos case is worthy of a waiver.
“You can pursue these kinds of waivers if you are married to a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, or if you have a parent who is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident,” said O’Neill-Baker, “so, it's for very narrow circumstances but it is completely relevant to this circumstance.”
Rondos is married to an American, restaurateur Viron Rondos. They have three young children.