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FL Family in Publicized Case Deported

Posted Oct 30, 2007 2:57 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Two teenage brothers in a high-profile immigration case said goodbye to their parents and 85-year-old grandmother at Miami International Airport today, as the older family members were deported to their native Colombia.

The brothers, Juan and Alex Gomez, aged 18 and 19, respectively, also are here as illegal immigrants, having been brought to this country by their parents as toddlers. However, they have been allowed to stay, for now, because a private bill has been introduced in Congress seeking permission for them to stay in the U.S. permanently, according to the Miami Herald.

As discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, the family's much-publicized plight captured media attention earlier this year, particularly because friends of Juan Gomez—a star high school student and popular football player—organized a national lobbying effort on their behalf after the family was arrested. It is by no means certain that a private bill to help them will pass, though, especially since many Americans have strong feelings about illegal immigration.

A private bill was introduced in the Senate last month. Meanwhile, others in the same plight pinned their hopes on the so-called DREAM Act, which would have allowed them to stay in this country to attend college or serve in the military. However, it appears to be going nowhere in Congress.

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