Sisters granted temporary stay in US travel to D.C.
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Two sisters who were once facing deportation are now traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet with Senator Marco Rubio.
Daniela and Dayana Pelaez departed from Miami International Airport at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to head to the nation's capital. The sisters plan to discuss the immigration process and their ordeal with the senator. "I'm really excited partly because of the legal proceedings and now I have two years," said Daniela Pelaez, "but I'm also excited because of I've never been to Washington."
Tuesday afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security granted the Pelaez sisters a two-year stay in the U.S. "It's a huge relief that I get to stay for graduation," said Daniela.
Daniela is the valedictorian at North Miami Senior High School. She boasts a 6.7 GPA and is being courted by Ivy League colleges. Daniela and her sister were facing deportation to their native country of Colombia in a month. "I am very grateful. I told my sister, 'We are so blessed,'" said Dayana.
Their story went public last week, when students, faculty and the community rallied to their defense. On Tuesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted the sisters a temporary stay.
Attorney Nera Shefer said the goal is to give the sisters a permanent stay in this country. "It is a good step, and we are moving forward," said Shefer. "However, that is not the goal. The goal is to keep them here permanently."
Shefer is now filling an appeal to ICE to allow the sisters permanent residence. "My attorney is also asking for a petition for two more years, four years total, to give my dad or someone else to petition for his residence," said Daniela.
In the meantime, the sisters said they are going to take the temporary stay as win. "I came here since I was 4 years old. I was raised here. This is all I know," said Daniela.
ICE released a statement, which read: "ICE is focused on smart, effective, immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent boarder crossers, egregious immigration law violators."
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