HARTFORD -- A lawyer representing a couple facing deportation said they have been granted a stay to remain in Connecticut.
The comes after Gov. Malloy urged Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to grant a stay.
Xiang Jin Li and Zhe Long Huang, known as “Kris and Tony,” have been ordered by immigration officials to leave the country by Friday and return to China.
A prayer vigil was set for the couple, Thursday night, for the community to show support and make a final plea to immigration officials. When organizers got the word the couple would be granted a stay, they decided to turn the vigil into a celebration.
"We thank you to ICE for enacting a stay of their deportation we are so grateful that they will be free to stay in this country, to stay together as a family," Eleni Kavros DeGraw with Forward CT said.
"Thank you so much to ICE," Kris said. "It's like a dream, I'm so happy."
Senator Beth Bye spoke at the rally and said the way the Farmington Valley came together for the Huang family is a sign that other communities can come together.
"This is about a failed federal immigration system," Bye said. "They did not have a path to citizenship despite all that they did to make their way to become members of the community."
“Tony and Kris emigrated from China in search of freedom and a better life for their children,” Governor Malloy stated in the letter. “These two children, five and fifteen years old, know no other home than the United States, and have a loving mother and father to provide for them. Deporting them would send these two youths into foster care, and tear their family apart.”
“President Trump has stated that your Department prioritizes deporting ‘the worst of the worst,’ gang members, drug dealers, and violent criminals,” Governor Malloy continued. “This does not describe or characterize Tony and Kris. Surely we can agree that this family should not be torn asunder and that Tony and Kris deserve a stay of deportation, and a chance at continuing to contribute to our great nation. They have the support of their neighbors, their community, their local, state and congressional elected officials, and now—they need your support. Especially with the U.S. Congress poised to consider immigration legislation, I urge you to use your discretion to ensure that this family remain in the place they call their home.”
You can read the full letter here.