CHESHIRE, CT -- A mother of three children, who entered the U.S. illegally years ago, was granted a stay in this country on Monday morning, according to 's office.
Denada Rondos, 32, was scheduled to be deported back to her home country of Albania on Monday night.
Rondos came to the U.S. 15 years ago with a fake passport. She left Albania to escape religious persecution and used a fake name to get a passport and a visa.
She later married Viron Rondos, who is a U.S. citizen.
Viron Rondos owns the popular Cheshire restaurant Viron Rondo Osteria and Denada Rondos manages the finances.
However, Rondos, who has no criminal record, received a deportation order back in 2007. She said she has been meeting and cooperating with immigration officials since then. However, she was told in September that she was being deported.
On Monday, she and her three young children were supposed to board a plane at JFK airport to return to Albania. Her flight to Albania was scheduled to lift off at 10:30 p.m.
Erin O'Neil-Baker, who is the attorney for Denada Rondos, filed a stay and it's pending with the Second Circuit Court. Therefore, homeland security issued a forbearance while Second Circuit Court's decision is pending.
"I can't be more grateful. They have been beyond showing support, showing kindness, in this sad time. We did not expect that," Rondos said.
She was given a deportation order in 2007 but got married in 2008 and was continuously granted a stay of removal.
"We used to work together in New York City, that was about ten years ago and we got married in 2008 and moved up here and opened the restaurants here and we've been blessed we are living the American dream, I could not ask for anything better," Viron Rondos said.
"This temporary relief is very gratifying," U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said. "But, it's only one step and we're going to continue the fight for this family so they can remain together in this country where they have a business and they've contributed to their community."
O'Neil-Baker told Channel 3 that there's a strong chance that she will be granted a pardon and allowed to return to the U.S. in a year or two.
Rep. Elizabeth Esty said Rondos left Albania to escape persecution.
Esty wrote a letter to immigration authorities in support of Denada Rondos. She urged them to grant her "every consideration possible to remain in the United States and continue her pathway to citizenship."
Esty was joined by O'Neil-Baker and Blumenthal at a news conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Monday afternoon.
"Reason and justice have prevailed temporarily for the Rondos family. The relief granted today will give them the chance they deserve to pursue a fair and full hearing-remaining together as a family in Connecticut where they own and operate a business and contribute to their community," Blumenthal said in a statement on Monday. "This case is yet another tragic example of a deportation system that has lost all reason and rationality-needlessly breaking apart families and diverting federal resources away from those who pose a true threat to public safety and national security."
Many have fought to keep Rondos in the country, most recently by holding a vigil on the Cheshire green on Sunday night.
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