When Magda Corado brought her children here 16 years ago to escape violence and instability in her native Guatemala, she never thought her American dream would end so tragically.
Corado's youngest daughter, Ana, 22, was arrested at her Ogden home last month by federal immigration agents and was to be deported Saturday. Corado's son, Jose, 24, is being treated for colon cancer and has been ordered to leave the country, along with Magda Corado and her husband, Raul. They've purchased plane tickets for April 30.
"It is almost half a life over here," Magda Corado said. "For Ana, this country is her country ... 16 years ago I promised her safety and a better life. Now the promise is broken."
The family has tried to go the legal route, they say. After they arrived in the United States, the Corados applied for political asylum. Their application was rejected and appeals were denied, said Hakeem Aishola, a Salt Lake immigration attorney representing the Corados.
After the last appeal was denied, the family was given 60 days to voluntarily depart the country, Aishola said.
But Raul Corado, who is currently a Baptist minister in Burlington, Colo., had filed a separate application for a religious worker visa, which was granted.
"They were under an order of deportation and should have left a long time ago," Aishola said. "But they were under the impression that the application granted for Raul Sr. was for everybody."
However, there were two problems, Aishola said. The attorney who filed the visa application had only included Raul's name, not the whole family. And the visa was invalidated because of the prior deportation order. The Corados claim they weren't notified of the original order to leave the country.
Then, last month, Ana was arrested. She's been jailed since.
With their applications for legal status denied, the family tried to get a six-month stay for Jose's treatment. But instead of months, they were granted weeks.
Only Rosangela, 27, Magda's daughter who is married to a U.S. citizen, has legal status and will be able to remain.
Meanwhile, Jose, who is receiving treatment at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, said he's been living with cancer since 2001. Jose said his doctor has told him that "eventually it's going to kill you." But he remains hopeful.
"I believe in hope and faith," Jose said. "From my point of view, I've made it this far. I feel it's not my time."
Jose plans to continue seeking a stay of deportation so he can continue receiving treatment here and work to pay off medical bills. His family doesn't know whether he'll be able to receive the care he needs in Guatemala.
"Over here, he survives. The cancer treatment is very wonderful, very good," Magda said. "In Guatemala, I don't know."
Magda choked back tears as she recalled writing down information for Ana so she'd be able to find her aunt in Guatemala, whom she hasn't seen since she was 6 years old.
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