OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Just hours before they were scheduled to board a flight to Mexico, an Oakland family being torn apart by an immigration deportation order filed a request to stay the order.

But that request has been denied.

Maria and Eusebio Mendoza-Sanchez filed a stay of deportation after being ordered to leave the country by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The stay expires at noon Wednesday, according to attorney Carl Shusterman.

Maria, Eusebio and their 12-year-old son were booked on a flight scheduled to leave at 12:55 p.m. Tuesday.

Prior to the denied request, Shusterman said, “We’ve advised her to get a later flight to give immigration more time to process her stay request. We have our fingers crossed that they’ll grant the stay.”

They had previously filed a stay of deportation on Friday, but ICE informed them that was premature, according to Shusterman.

“They will not accept the stay request until the old stay is expired, so we’ll be filing it about a minute after noon (Wednesday),” he said.

In an act of support, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said she was joining Sen. Dianne Feinstein to seek the order be lifted permanently.

“Maria represents the best of Oakland,” Schaaf said in a statement. “A dedicated registered nurse at Highland Hospital who has cared for our residents in their most vulnerable moments, as well as a loving wife and mother of four children. She and Eusebio epitomize the Oakland spirit; they are devoted members of our community, proud parents of highly accomplished students, and we honor and support their family as they face this life changing moment.”

“As mayor of Oakland, I believe in keeping families together. I stand with Dianne Feinstein in calling on the federal government to reverse this impending deportation. The Trump administration’s arbitrary and cruel enforcement of immigration policies tears families apart,”
Schaaf said.

Mendoza-Sanchez works as a nurse at Highland Hospital taking care of cancer patients and while Eusebio is a truck driver.

Despite the intervention of Feinstein and others and a direct plea to President Donald Trump, the couple were headed toward being deported on Tuesday.

“It is a very difficult situation. I put up a very long fight,” Mendoza-Sanchez said last week.

Mendoza-Sanchez and her husband entered the country illegally over two decades ago and have four children. Three of those children are U.S. citizens.

Eusebio came to the United States in 1989. Maria followed him in 1992. Over the next 25 years they bought a home, built a life and raised a family in the U.S., but now won’t be able to come back for the next decade.

“Somebody who’s deported and who has over a year of unlawful presence is banned from coming back for 10 years,” Shusterman said.

They were planning to take their youngest with them back to Mexico, but leave the rest of their family behind.

They are placing their eldest daughter — 23-year-old UC Santa Cruz graduate Vianney Sanchez — in charge of her two younger sisters.

“This administration says they want good people and that is who my family is,” said a tearful Vianney Sanchez. “They don’t want ‘bad hombres’ and my parents have never, ever done anything, no criminal convictions.”

But her immigration status is also in jeopardy.

She is in the United States protected under the  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, something President Trump has threatened to take away.

“And I always thought that everything was going to turn out alright and they wouldn’t have to leave, because I don’t … they’ve done nothing wrong,” said daughter Melin Sanchez, who is a senior at UC Santa Cruz studying biology.

Comments (9)
  1. You can’t just squat in the US and expect to stay. It’s clearly illegal.

    1. Susan George says:

      I know! Try that in any other country and see what happens. And what SS numbers did they use to get those jobs?

  2. They are placing their eldest daughter — 23-year-old UC Santa Cruz graduate Vianney Sanchez — in charge of her two younger sisters. She’s Under DACA, they should ALL be deported! The oldest got a free education, she should take her degree and go with the parents. If the 2 younger ones are anchors they can come back when they’re 18, but they belong with their parents!

  3. Dave Spysea says:

    follow the law and you would not be in this position ….. don’t blame anyone but yourself …..

  4. James Bowen says:

    Sad story, but they’ve been “living the dream” illegally. Getting away with it for 23 years doesn’t negate the broken laws.

  5. It’s a very sad and unfortunate situation for all of them. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to enter this country. I’m wondering why the parents never made an attempt to become legal in the 20 years they were here. Also, if I were the oldest daughter, I’d be applying for my citizenship sooner rather than later, just to be on the safe side. One positive note is that the son is a U.S. citizen, which means he can travel back and forth, and can choose to reside here when he’s 18. And the parents aren’t banned for life. They can re-enter in 10 years, and hopefully, they will do it legally next time. Yes, ten years sounds like a long time. However, they did get to take advantage of employment and educational opportunities, and other benefits available to them while residing in the U.S. for the past 20 years. I wish them all the best.

  6. “Mendoza-Sanchez and her husband entered the country illegally.” Enough said….

  7. Schaaf believes in keeping families together. Her advice? “Quick, duck, incoming fire”