Diaz family deportation delayed until September
Wu convinces Homeland Security to let the family stay during appeal
Three members of the Diaz family were not forced to board a plane late Friday night and return to their native Guatemala.
Hours before Irma Diaz and her two oldest children Luis Jr., 21, and Monica, 19, were scheduled to head to Portland International Airport, their immigration attorney informed them that they would be able to temporarily remain in the United States.
'I am very happy, very content and very emotional right now,' said an overwhelmed Luis Diaz Sr., Irma's husband. ' If I continue talking, I will start to cry.
'I've been trying to stay strong for my family, but the past couple hours have been difficult. I had really started to lose hope the closer it was getting. The news we received today makes me feel alive again.'
Irma likens her happiness upon hearing the news as similar to the type of joy she would feel in a religious experience.
'I feel more than happy,' she said. 'I feel as if I had met God.'
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted the Beaverton family the extension, staying their deportation until Sunday, Sept. 10.
The action will grant additional time to allow U.S. Rep. David Wu and his staff to move a private bill through the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims.
Wu, a Hillsdale Democrat who represents Oregon's 1st Congressional District, is working to pass H.R. 5745, a private bill to postpone deportation of Irma, Luis Jr. and Monica.
The bill would allow them to remain in the United States until 60 days after the final decision is rendered on Luis Diaz Sr.'s political asylum application.
Luis Sr.'s political asylum and cancellation of removal claims are both on appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
'This extension was an administrative success,' said Jillian Schoene, spokeswoman for Wu. 'It will give us more time to continue to push our legislation through.
'We are doing the best we can to keep this family together - that is our biggest goal.'