A Hawaii coffee farmer who entered the United States illegally from Mexico nearly three decades ago has been granted a 30-day reprieve on a deportation order.
Andres Magana Ortiz, 43, must return to the country he left at age 15 if efforts to halt his deportation aren’t successful, said his lawyer, James Stanton.
Magana Ortiz’s case gained attention after a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge criticized the Trump administration’s order to deport him. “President Trump has claimed that his immigration policies would target the ‘bad hombres,’” Judge Stephen Reinhardt said in an opinion issued last week. “The government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz shows that even the ‘good hombres’ are not safe.”
However, Reinhardt said the 9th Circuit lacked authority to block the deportation order.
Before federal officials granted the 30-day reprieve, Magana Ortiz had been ordered to have a bag packed and turn himself in to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security office in Honolulu on Thursday morning.
“The last week was very stressful,” Magana Ortiz said. “I have a little bit of relief.”
He is hoping something can be worked out before his 30 days are up. Hawaii’s congressional delegation intervened earlier this week with a letter to the Homeland Security Department urging the deportation to be halted. They’re also asking that the petition by his wife, a U.S. citizen, for his permanent residency be expedited.
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said she spoke with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and asked him to exercise his discretionary authority to allow Magana Ortiz to stay in Hawaii.
“This morning, Mr. Ortiz faced the possibility of immediate deportation, leaving his wife and three children behind,” U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said in a statement. “While today’s 30-day reprieve is a positive step, it does not resolve the underlying issues. I’ll continue to push other avenues to assist Mr. Ortiz and his family in their efforts to remain in the Kona community he has called home for nearly three decades.”