Mother of 3 gets reprieve
Cheshire restaurateur avoids deportation pending court hearing
CHESHIRE — The intervention of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has halted the immediate deportation of Denada Rondos, who was scheduled to leave Monday night for Albania with her husband and three children, all of whom are American citizens.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s office made the announcement just before 11 a.m. Monday.
“Reason and justice have prevailed temporarily for the Rondos family. The relief granted today will give them the chance they deserve to pursue a fair and full hearing — remaining together as a family in Connecticut where they own and operate a business and contribute to their community. This case is yet another tragic example of a deportation system that has lost all reason and rationality — needlessly breaking apart families and diverting federal resources away from those who pose a true threat to public safety and national security,” Blumenthal said in a statement.
Rondos’ attorney Erin O’NeilBaker on Sunday had requested an emergency stay from the 2nd Circuit and had also filed a petition for review with that court.
She has argued that Rondos’ deportation case be reopened on the grounds that she will be in physical danger if sent back to
Albania because of a purge of the minority Greek Orthodox population there.
Rondos was sent to the United States at age 17 by her parents, but in a complication for her case, she used someone else’s passport.
O’Neil-Baker has been working on the case for several months, but the family only went public last week.
The attorney said there is an agreement between the 2nd Circuit and the Department of Homeland Security, that once a Petition for Review is filed with the appellate court, DHS will halt deportation proceedings until it can look at the record.
She said nothing has been granted at this point, with the exception of the deportation of Rondos cancelled for now.
O’Neil-Baker said the 2nd Circuit is the only one in the 13-circuit appeal division that has this type of agreement with DHS if a Petition for Review is filed with it.
Separate from this, the Board of Immigration Appeals still has not acted on O’Neil-Baker’s request that it reopen Rondos’ case.
A request for permanent residency for Rondos through her husband also is pending.
Rondos helps runs the popular Cheshire restaurant Viron Rondo Osteria, with her husband, Viron Rondos.
She is the main caretaker for their three young children and was set to leave the country with them and her husband for a 10:25 p.m. flight before the court ruled.
O’Neil-Baker said the family was packed and was scheduled to leave for the airport at 3 p.m. She said Viron Rondo was to have accompanied them to help get the family settled.