SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – An introduction of a private bill from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has temporarily halted the deportation of a San Francisco community college nursing student who has been living in the country illegally.
Shing Ma “Steve” Li, a student at City College of San Francisco, was arrested in his home on Sept. 15 after investigators discovered he wasn’t a legal U.S. resident.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency in charge of Li’s deportation, was keeping Li in detention until Friday when the agency announced it was making arrangements to release Li and allow him to stay in the U.S. for at least another 75 days.
“The action comes after the agency was advised that Sen. Feinstein has filed a private immigration bill on Li’s behalf,” ICE spokesman Virginia Kice said.
Li’s arrest initially prompted protesters to rally for him to stay in the country, leading to Feinstein’s intervention, which granted him a temporary stay while she works toward a permanent solution.
Gil Duran, a spokesman for Feinstein, said today that the private bill is a short-term solution until Congress votes on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act.
“This is a temporary measure until we see whether the DREAM act will be voted on in this Congress,” Duran said, referring to the imminent end of the current Congressional session following the November midterm elections.
The DREAM Act, which could be included as an amendment to other legislation, would permit certain undocumented students who arrived in the U.S. as minors and have completed at least two years of study at a four-year institution or at least two years of military service to remain in the country.