BOYLE HEIGHTS, Calif. (FOX 11) - It's been a good week for Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez. He's the 49-year-old immigrant who's been living illegally in the United States for 25 years.
He was arrested by federal agents on February 28th after he dropping off his 12-year- old daughter at school.
Ever since, he's been at Adelanto Detention Facility in San Bernardino County.
But earlier this week the Board of Immigration Appeals, the highest administrative body in the immigration court system, threw out the final deportation order issued in his case.
The case now goes back to a lower immigration court and the next decision could take years.
Avelica-Gonzalez has a bond hearing August 30th. He could be released from Adelanto that day.
Monday night, Romulo Avelica Gonzalez's girls are sitting down, breathing a sigh of relief.
"We felt stressed, we felt drained, we felt tired, just having that thought at the back of your head...maybe my dad is going to be gone," said his daughter Jocelyn Avelica.
They had been nervous they wouldn't see their dad back home ever since this day late February. That's when Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents arrested Avelica while he was dropping off his daughter to school.
They wouldn't comment Monday, but several months ago said Avelica had multiple criminal convictions, including a DUI. The girls say ICE shouldn't be going after people like their dad. "The mistakes that my dad did, are not for him to be a priority of deportation, he's not a criminal," said Brenda Avelica.
On Monday....a glimmer of hope for the family. In a rare move, the courts ordered ICE to not deport Avelica while they continue considering his case. "I'm just hopeful that we're going to soon have him home," said Brenda.
The girls have been protesting for their dad for months. They say the momentum around their father's case, helped achieve the rare court order Monday. "If it wasn't for them, maybe our voices wouldn't have been heard like they are being heard," said Brenda.
They say they don't plan to stop making their voices heard anytime soon.
They say Avelica brought them to America for a better life. Now it's their turn they say, to fight for him. "It's the least we could do for my dad is fight for him and for him to be here with us...because without him, we're nothing," said Brenda.
At the end of the month, an immigration judge will decide if Avelica can be released on bond.
Regardless of what their decision is, it will still be at least a few more months before the courts decide if he can stay in the country.
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