Delayed deportation gives Granger family hope
Armando Paez was scheduled to be deported on Wednesday. Because ICE officers were late for the flight, it had to be rescheduled for the next day.
Armando, wife Martha, and their three children, Ana, Maria, and Juan, are now hoping a miracle may keep them together.
“We have to pray hard and keep the hope to try and stay in this country,” says Armando.
The family immigrated from Columbia illegally in 1999.
Hoping to be granted a stay of deportation, Armando has annually checked-in with the ICE office in Chicago.
While the kids are protected by DACA, Martha has a stay of deportation that has been approved until September.
But in the fall, Armando’s stay of deportation request was denied.
“It’s frustrating, you try to do the best to help this community and this country and then they say you have to go home. Still I hope something good could happen,” says Armando.
From cheering them on at sporting events, to working two jobs to put them through college, Armando’s kids say he supported them in every way a good dad should.
“He’s the best dad in the world honestly,” says Juan.
His kids say they are heartbroken at the thought of separating, but admire how positive their father has stayed throughout the situation.
“He still smiles, he still laughs, he still jokes. So, I want everyone to know that about my dad, that he will fight and he is never going to give up on anything,” says Ana.
Armando’s flight is scheduled to leave from South Bend International Airport on Thursday at noon and arrive in Bogota at 9:45 p.m.