Immigration Officials to Family of Ailing Children: Go Home

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So far, neither her efforts nor ongoing advocacy from the office of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has moved immigration authorities to lengthen the family's stay. Further complicating the Khandwalla's immigration status is that 8-year-old twin sons, who were born here, are legal U.S. citizens. Schoolmates of the Khandwalla children have signed petitions to keep the family here. Those petitions, bearing hundreds of signatures, will be presented to Wyden's office, Faiza Khandalla said.

The twins, who are in second grade, are confused by recent developments, their mother said. When Corsano's letter arrived earlier this month, one of the boys asked: "What have we done? Why are they kicking us out?" his mother recalled. In addition, the immigration problems have put life in limbo for the Khandwalla's oldest child, an 18-year-old son who would like to attend college, but is "just waiting."

Nelson said she hopes immigration authorities "realize they made a mistake and change their minds." But if they go forward and initiate deportation proceedings, the case would come under the jurisdiction of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has the authority to stop the deportation proceedings and grant the family's request to stay longer, she said.

Mother Hopes For At Least Temporary Visa Extension

In the meantime, Faiza Khandwalla holds out hope that somehow immigration authorities will rethink their decision. "Maybe they'll try and put themselves in our shoes," she said. "Give the boys a chance to stay here, because this country has shown them hope. If they allow us to stay here and give us some legal permanent residence, it would be a really nice thing. If they don't want to do that, at least they could give us something temporary."

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