Friday, June 10, 2011

Last minute change postpones So. St. Paul teen's deportation (KARE-MN)

Last minute change postpones So. St. Paul teen's deportation
1:26 AM, Jun 10, 2011
Written by Jeff Olsen

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A new high school graduate who was scheduled to be deported is getting one more chance to plead his case.

19-year-old Milton Rodriguez expected to graduate from South St. Paul High School and then be forced to leave the country all within 12 hours.

"I'm sad because I am going to have to leave everyone," Rodriguez said Thursday afternoon.

"For me, it is very sad," Milton's mother Maria Rodriguez said through an interpreter. "He is a good man."

Milton's family is from El Salvador. His mother, father and other family members fled the country to escape increasing violence. They were in the U.S. when an earthquake hit El Salvador in 2001. The family was granted temporary protective status. When Milton arrived in 2005 it was too late to get the same status. He applied for asylum in the U.S. citing the violence back home. His request and all the appeals have been turned down.

"They denied everything. They say my case isn't strong enough," Rodriguez said.

He was expecting to graduate high school in Minnesota on Thursday and then begin a trip back to El Salvador on Friday. But the plan changed late Thursday.

About an hour before graduation immigration officials announced there would be another meeting on the case.

"ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is further reviewing the facts of this case to determine whether imminent removal is necessary. No action will be taken until that review is complete," spokesman Shawn Neudauer told KARE 11 News.

The news is relief for Rodriguez, his family and the friends who have been helping with his case.

"We feel like it would be an honor to have him here," South St. Paul High School counselor Diane Barse said. "He is just a wonderful young man."

The meeting to review the case is Friday at 9 a.m. in Bloomington.

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