Part of this story is heartbreaking, and part of it is a common tale of a family that came to this country illegally, and stayed; only to be found out by ICE and is now facing deportation.

The Quiej family of Princeton is faced with deportation and are striving to stay.

The family, in the United States illegally since 1993, has been living in Princeton for the past four years. Of the five children in the family, two were born in the United States.

Last year the family received a one-year reprieve to stay in the U.S. because 20-year-old Ebelyn has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. While Ebelyn is benefiting from physical therapy and medication, her seizures are becoming more severe, according to her mother, Graciela Quiej.

Ebelyn’s father, Javier Quiej, fled from a war-torn Guatemala in 1991 and was followed by his wife and three children in 1993.

After declining to voluntarily deport in the late 1990s, the Quiejs were lucky enough to remain ‘off the radar’ of the immigration services (ICE) representatives came knocking on their door at 6 a.m. in 2008.

Javier and son Javier Jr. were taken by the ICE.

Long story short. The father and son were allowed to stay due to public outcry.

Now two members of the family would benefit from President Obama’s executive order allowing children of illegals who came to this country younger than 16 with no criminal records.

Add to that, the daughter with cerebral palsy and epilepsy would not be able to get much needed medication if she and the rest of the family were to be returned to Guatemala.

The report continues:

Last year, the ICE told the Quiejs they had to leave, but Princeton attorney Stephen Traylor was able to get them a one-year reprieve, which will soon expire….and is hoping to get them another reprieve.

Traylor said… “Right now the pharmaceutical company is giving Ebelyn medication for free,”. “That would stop if they moved back to Guatemala, where it would be very expensive and difficult to get the medication.”

With the one-year reprieve about to expire, the Quiejs have been asked to come to a July 18 interview with plane tickets in hand.

Maria Juega, an activist with the Latin America Legal Defense and Education Fund said “There are compelling humanitarian considerations here,”. “It would be an amazingly tortuous decision if they had to split the family up.”

Javier is currently two years into the 10- to 12-year process of applying for citizenship. He is trying everything he can to keep his family together and give his children a chance at a better life.

I think I’m a pretty compassionate guy, but I wonder how many other families that have come here illegally have “compelling humanitarian considerations” which would allow them to stay.