On Jan. 4, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deferred the deportation of Jorge Alonso Chehade, a recent University of Washington graduate who had been scheduled to report to immigration authorities on Jan. 5. DHS has deferred action until February 15, 2010. OneAmerica has been working with Chehade and other community leaders to advocate on this case ever since he was detained by immigration authorities on March 14, 2009, after authorities discovered his undocumented immigration status when he took a wrong turn on the highway and ended up in Canada. Chehade has lived in the country for eight years after being brought to the United States from Peru at the age of fourteen. He graduated high school with honors and recently received his bachelor’s degree from the Michael G. Foster School of business at the University of Washington. “Alonso is exactly the kind of hard-working and compassionate person we should be honoring for his achievements in this country, not working to deport,” said OneAmerica Executive Director Pramila Jayapal. “We are grateful to DHS for this temporary relief, and hope that we can work together to defer action through the end of this Congressional session.”

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