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L.A. Father Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez Granted Temporary Stay Of Removal

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Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez and two of his daughters. (Photo courtesy of NDLON)
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Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, an undocumented Los Angeles father facing imminent deportation has been granted a temporary stay of removal. Avelica-Gonzalez, 49, became the subject of international headlines after he was arrested by federal immigration authorities while dropping his daughters off at school in February.

Avelica-Gonzalez has lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years and has four U.S.-born children. He has been in custody at an immigrant detention center in Adelanto, California for more than five months, since his arrest on February 28. He was facing imminent deportation as of Monday after the expiration of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stay that had previously been in place.

The Board of Immigration Appeals granted Avelica-Gonzalez an emergency stay of removal on Monday, which will prevent his removal from the country while the BIA reviews his case, according to his lawyers.

“The BIA granted an emergency stay of removal for Romulo, preventing ICE from deporting him,” Alan Diamante, an immigration attorney for Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, said in a statement. “We are now asking the BIA to reconsider its prior decision and recognize that Mr. Avelica should have a right to stay in the United States. ICE should release Romulo immediately.”

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“This is my country; I have roots and family here. And today I am grateful beyond words that the court has prevented ICE from deporting me,” Avelica-Gonzalez said in a statement from Adelanto Detention Center. “Every day I wake up knowing that I must be at least half as strong as my children have been in their fight for my freedom. I have gained strength from all who have stood alongside me these past months—the most difficult period of my life. I will never give up fighting for my rights, and for the rights of other immigrants.”

Previously: This Is What It's Like When A Father Of 4 Is Detained By ICE While Dropping His Daughters Off At School
Why Is The City Attorney Taking A Harsh Stance Against An L.A. Father Fighting Deportation?
Decades-Old Criminal Case Against Father Detained By ICE Settled, Paving Way For His Potential Release From Detention
Father Detained By ICE While Dropping Daughter At School Could Be Deported Next Week