Family grateful after court delays imminent deportation of Litchfield mother

HARTFORD -- A federal court has delayed the scheduled deportation of a 15-year resident of the state to her native Albania.

Denada Rondos was scheduled to be deported to Albania on Monday but U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal's office said that she has been granted a temporary stay which will allow her to pursue her case to seek political asylum in the U.S.

"Thank you so much. I appreciate everyone," said Denada Rondos on Monday. "This is the best day of my life. This is a great feeling. It's a great feeling knowing that I will raise my children in a country of equality."

The 32-year-old Rondos came to the U.S. in 2002 using a fraudulent passport. She has since married a U.S. citizen and has three U.S.-born children.

She and her husband run a restaurant in Cheshire and live in Litchfield.

Rondos received a deportation order in 2009. She has been meeting with immigration officials regularly, but was told in September that she was being deported.

Blumenthal said Rondos faces persecution in Albania and deporting her is "cruel and inhumane."


Religious leaders of several faiths came together Sunday night for the Rondos family. Thousands of community members also gathered to lend support to the family.

"This is such a misguided decision," said congresswoman Elizabeth Esty. "All we're asking for is that they don't try to deport her tomorrow and allow her to stay and make her case."

Denada recently filed a new asylum claim arguing that Albania is too dangerous of a country to return to.

Rondos' attorney cautioned that the delay is only temporary. There is still a chance that the deportation could continue at a later date.