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,”
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.