Mother of 3 gets re­prieve

Cheshire restau­ra­teur avoids de­por­ta­tion pend­ing court hear­ing

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mary E. O’Leary

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.

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