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Tica Student Stays in U.S.,

July 8, 2005

JUST 48 hours after Costa RicansMarvin and Marina González led theFourth of July parade in Jefferson City,Missouri – the U.S. community wherethey have lived for years – they weredeported Tuesday to Costa Rica.Although they displayed the U.S. flagacross their chests during the parade,themed “Proud to be an American,” andhave lived in the United States since1991, the Gonzálezes were reminded inrecent months that they are not, by law,U.S. citizens.Neither is their daughter, Marie; butafter a three-year fight and the interventionof U.S. Senator Jim Talent, the 19-year-old honor student will be allowed tostay in the United States one more year,the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.The U.S. Department of HomelandSecurity decided July 1 to defer actionon Marie, giving her at least one moreyear to live in the United States. Butthey have maintained the deportationorder for her parents, despite countlessappeals.It could be six years before Marie seesher parents again. Marie, who has lived inthe United States since she was five, ishoping to become a legal citizen throughthe Development, Relief and Educationfor Alien Minors Act, also known as theDream Act. The bill was proposed lastyear in the U.S. Congress and wouldallow immigrant students like Marie whohave grown up in the United States andgraduated from U.S. high schools toattend college and join the military, eventuallybecoming citizens.If the legislation passes, Marie cannotleave the country for five years during the“Dream” process, the Missourian reported.If the bill does not pass, Marie facesdeportation in one year.Meanwhile, Marvin and Marina willnot be allowed into the United States for10 years, the Missourian reported.The González family entered theUnited States in November 1991 ontourist visas and decided to settle in thecountry, having been erroneouslyadvised by attorneys that they couldapply for legal residency status after 10years.Rich Chrismer, spokesman for SenatorTalent, a Missouri Republican, told the St.Louis Post-Dispatch late last week thesenator and others would continue tonegotiate on the family’s behalf.

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