Immigration
7:51 am
Thu April 21, 2011

Malloy Writes Federal Officials on Behalf of Illegal Immigrant

Governor Dannel Malloy has written a letter to federal officials asking them to delay deporting a college student. As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the Governor's intervention stems from his support of immigration reform efforts that would allow college students to receive permanent legal status.

Mariano Cardoso is an illegal immigrant from Mexico who has lived in the U.S. for most of his life after his parents brought him here when he was a baby.

He's a month away from graduating with an engineering degree from Capitol Community College in Hartford. While in school, Cardoso has been fighting a deportation order and recently he found out he lost his appeal. His story has gotten attention as the Connecticut legislature takes up a bill that would allow undocumented students to be eligible for in state tuition rates at state schools. Malloy supports the bill unlike his Republican predecessor, Jodi Rell, who vetoed a similar proposal in 2007.

Malloy says he wrote a letter on behalf of Cardoso because his situation points to why immigration reform is needed

"For us to have invested in this young man, to see him on the cusp of receiving his degree which would allow him to be a long contributor to society and send him to a country he doesn't really know doesn't make a lot of sense."

Malloy says Cardoso shouldn't be punished for a decision his parents made to come to the U.S illegally.

When reached by phone, Cardoso says he hopes U.S Senators Lieberman and Blumenthal will write a letter on his behalf to halt his deportation. Once he receives an official deportation order, he has three months to leave voluntarily. Cardoso says he'll likely comply so not to break any more laws.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not return calls seeking comment.

UPDATE: Immigrations and Customs Enforcement issued a statement on Thursday regarding Cardoso. According to ICE spokesman Chuck Jackson, “ICE received Governor Malloy’s letter and will respond directly to the Governor and his staff following a thorough review of its contents.”