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Petaluma Man Facing Deportation Gets Temporary Reprieve

Attorney argues extreme medical hardship to wife should Fernando Diaz be forced to return to Mexico

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?

LongTimeLocal November 24, 2011 at 02:14 AM
Are you folk who think the law harse nuts? Try the same anywhere else and you'll see it's the contrary. Mexico is far harsher, an irony that should not escape you. As to Fernando, why the heck did you choose to not take care of things legally as you could have done and then this would not have been an issue. Hosestly folk - think about it - and Fernando, I do wish you the best, and hope yoy can stay, but you're getting some terrible advice.
and you know this November 24, 2011 at 04:47 PM
What was the outcome of his criminal case? If he was guilty on that case then the the reality is he should be sent back. Entering the US illegally inherently poses numerous risks for those who do so. While I agree merely seeking out illegals to deport is a waste I do believe that those that commit and are convicted of a crime (especially a felony) should be deported.
Nicole R. Zimmerman November 26, 2011 at 09:27 PM
According to the prior Press Democrat article, Diaz was charged with a misdemeanor. He came here 16 years ago when he was just 6 years old, and supports his three younger, American-born brothers. Like so many young people who grew up in the U.S. and are contributing members (if not legal citizens) of society, DIaz is one of many unnecessarily targeted for deportation by Homeland Security's "safe communities" law--a horrible euphemism and propaganda tool to promote intolerance. In my opinion, there's nothing safe about splitting up families. I think it's criminal to deport working people who, mind you, pay taxes but can't get tax breaks or qualify for financial aid to pursue higher education. (We're not, in the majority of cases, talking about violent criminals.) Someday, we will look back upon this part of our history with shame.
john gunning December 06, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Diaz sounds like a good guy,my question is did he ever apply for citizenship and what was he doing in a stolen car?Ignorance is no excuse of the law and if we bend the rules for one why not all?if this stupid country was worth liveing in and fighting for they would not come here sucking us dry.you being an editor only here storys of heartbreak,how about the hospitals i have worked in closing because illegals dont pay these on going emergency bills?socialism will only crush the middle class.my minor in economics taught me that this is country will take us down,wke up!
Karina Ioffee December 06, 2011 at 11:38 PM
Hi John. No, Fernando has not applied for citizenship. And according to his lawyer, he touched the abandoned car because he was considering taking a mirror from it. His finger prints were lifted, but he never took anything.

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