Dozens gathered in Cheshire center to urge lawmakers and immigration officials to grant a stay for a fellow Cheshire mother and restaurant owner.
Denada Rondos and her husband, Viron Rondos reached out for help from Eyewitness News on Thursday with information concerning Ms. Rondos nearing deportation to Albania, her home country.
Together, the Rondos own a popular restaurant in Cheshire, and on Sunday evening, dozens of family, friends, and customers circled the couple and their three children to rally against her deportation.
“I have lived here for half of my life. I have raised my family, a beautiful family,” said Ms. Rondos. “This is my home. This is my life.”
Ms. Rondos said she illegally entered the United States 15 years ago, from Albania, with a fake passport. In 2008, she married to her husband, Viron, a US citizen, and today, they have three children ages one to seven.
“I believe in miracles I’m still hoping,” Viron told Eyewitness News. “I don’t know tomorrow what’s going to happen. I don’t know that.”
The Rondos have purchased plane tickets and are set to depart JFK at 10:30 a.m. on Monday.
The lawyer for the Rondos’ family told Eyewitness News that Ms. Rondos was first given a removal order in 2007. For years, she followed up with the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and was continually granted a right to stay.
In September, Ms. Rondos was told to leave in a month.
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty told Eyewitness News that Ms. Rondos left Albania to escape persecution, and now that she has built a life in Cheshire, she should be allowed to stay.
“They have been tremendous charitable supporters of good works in this community. These are exactly model citizens what we would want all Americans to do,” said Congresswoman Esty.
“To send her back now is subjecting her and her children to danger as well. It’s wrong and we’re a better country than that.”
For tonight, the Rondos family, and the community are holding out hope that Ms. Rondos will be granted an appeal.
“For someone to stand for me. To give me a chance. For someone to have sympathy for my family and stand up and to say do not split this family,” urged Ms. Rondos.
The lawyer for the Rondos’ family will be working up to the minute to grant the Rondos’ a stay in Connecticut.
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