San Fran College Student’s Deportation to Peru Halted
A California senator has asked immigration officials to halt the deportation of college student Steve Li to Peru until she can consider introducing a bill that would allow him to stay in the country.
Li’s lawyer, Sin Yen Ling, told the public of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Cal.) intention upon announcing that Li would no longer be placed on a plane back to Peru on Monday, as initially planned.
This case drew a lot of attention in California, because, though Li risks being deported to Peru, he has no real ties or family there.
In the late 1980’s, Li’s parents left China to escape the government’s one child-policy, moving to Lima,Peru where Li’s grandparent’s owned a restaurant. Li was born in Peru as Shing Ma Li in 1990, but moved with his parents to California when he was just 11.
On September 15th, the three Li’s were arrested because they were only permitted to be in the U.S. through 2002. His parents were released and now wear electronic ankle bracelets as they wait deportation back to China, but Li remains in jail while he awaits being sent to Peru.
Fellow college students and supporters of Li rallied outside of Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer’s office in San Francisco last Friday in an attempt to get her to intervene in Li’s deportation case. A letter-writing campaign to Boxer, Feinstein and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also took place beforehand.
Feinstein’s office pointed to her support of the DREAM Act, which would allow for children of undocumented immigrants to become citizens should they enter the U.S. before age 15 and attend college or perform military service.
Li’s case would fit those guidelines perfectly, as he was a nursing student at the City College of San Francisco before he was arrested.
Feinstein say she has asked the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to halt the deportation proceedings while I consider introducing a private bill that will allows Mr. Li to remain in the United States in a temporary basis.”
Pelosi’s spokesperson, Drew Hammill said the Speaker believes Li’s case “ is a textbook example of the pressing need for comprehensive immigration reform and passage of the Dream,” and is “working with other members (of Congress) to recommend that ICE grant deferred action.”