Arturo Rengifo and his son, Arturo Rengifo, Jr., are two undocumented Concord residents who were ordered to leave the country by Aug 30. Yesterday, however, Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted them a 30-day reprieve so it could review their case. But it took an intervention by a U.S. Senator -- Dick Durbin from Illinois -- to stall the process.
According to the Rengifos' lawyer, Rhoda Wilkinson Domingo, Mr. Rengifo’s wife is not subject to an order of removal, and another son is a permanent resident. Wilkinson Domingo also sent out the following background information yesterday:
Mr. Rengifo and his family fled from Peru in 1993 after they were attacked and threatened by the Shining Path, a terrorist guerilla movement that now engages in highly dangerous narcotics trafficking. The Rengifo children were 15 and 6 years old, respectively, at the time. They have not left the United States since then.
"My father and I never even packed," Rengifo, Jr. told KQED's Mina Kim yesterday. "It's been the greatest miracle ever, that's ever happened to me. Even these 30 days gives us another chance of hope to live and just do what we need to do here, and that's live the American dream, and live as a family."
"We've never been split apart, ever. For me and my dad to leave and to leave my mom here, it's taking part of my mom's heart. It's really devastating. I'm still in this state of mind where I am going to stay here. I'm putting everything in the hands of God, whatever's going to happen is going to happen. But I know that good things will happen to us, hopefully, since we are good people."