Fernando Diaz Diaz, the 22-year-old Petaluma man facing deportation, got a temporary reprieve Monday after a federal immigration judge told him to return in January for another hearing.
During the hearing, Diaz’s attorney tried to prove that deporting the young man would cause extreme hardship for his family, especially Diaz’s 23-year-old wife, Shinaide, because she depends on him for medical insurance.
This September Shinaide had emergency surgery that would have cost $35,000, but was covered by Diaz’s medical insurance. The family’s attorney argued that if Diaz were deported, Shinaide, who works in catering and does not have medical insurance, would suffer greatly.
Still, Richard Coshnear, the family’s attorney said the case faced an uphill battle because of the need to prove that the separation would cause extreme hardship, adding that immigration courts seldom took economic hardship into account.
Reached by phone, Shinaide Villa said she was somewhat more hopeful following Monday’s court date, but that the couple was considering all options, including her moving to Mexico City with Diaz if he is not allowed to stay in the U.S. The couple met at Petaluma High School and married last July.
If they are forced to leave the U.S., it would mean leaving behind a good job with 7Up for Fernando and a fledgling business for Shinaide, who four years ago graduated from the Culinary Academy in San Francisco and has been working on opening her own wholesale bakery.
“It has been my dream for so long and I took real action toward that last year,” Shinaide said. “So I would lose all of that.”
Diaz is set to return to court Jan. 17. Meanwhile, his attorney is urging friends, neighbors and others concerned about the possible deportation to ask the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to dismiss Diaz’s removal.
“We would like everybody to let them know that Fernando should be a very low case priority for the Obama administration,” Coshnear said.
What do you think about this case? Should Fernando's case be dismissed?