Federal court delays Litchfield woman's deportation
Denada Rondos of Litchfield is staying home after a federal court on Monday delayed her scheduled deportation to Albania. BZ photos
Denada Rondos and her family will be together at home in Litchfield on Monday night after a federal court order in Hartford earlier in the day delayed her scheduled deportation to her native Albania.
The court’s decision Monday morning came as Rondos and her three young children were preparing for a 10:25 p.m. flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City to Albania.
Rondos entered the U.S. illegally in 2002 and had been ordered to leave by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She and her husband, Viron, own a restaurant in Cheshire. Viron Rondos, an ethnic Albanian, is a U.S. citizen as are the couple’s children.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty have been working on Denada Rondos’ behalf.
“Reason and justice have prevailed temporarily for the Rondos family,” Blumenthal said in a statement this morning. “The relief granted today will give them the chance they deserve to pursue a fair and full hearing — remaining together as a family in Connecticut where they own and operate a business and contribute to their community.”
The court’s action allows Denada Rondos to make yet another case for asylum and eventual citizenship.
The only family Denada Rondos has remaining in Albania is her mother. She left the country at the age of 16 to escape ethnic strife. As a Greek Orthodox Christian, Rondos would have faced persecution from Albanian Muslims had she been deported, according to Blumenthal.
More than 100 supporters of the Rondos family gathered on the Litchfield Green on Sunday in a show of support for Denada Rondos.
Below, Denada Rondos greets supporters during a rally for her on the Green on Sunday.