Honors Student Credits Supporters For Focusing Attention on Her Deportation Case

Los Altos High School graduate Mandeep Chahal celebrated being back home with her family.

Mandeep Chahal, reprieved from deportation through a furious two and a half day campaign that exploded over Facebook, thanked supporters in a statement Tuesday night.

"My family will be at home tonight, together, because of you," she wrote on a note on a Facebook that had been set up just Sunday.

The case of the graduate and UC-Davis pre-med honors student was described as a test of the specific guidelines issued Friday by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton.

Chahal and her mother, Jagdish Kaur, were in the deportation process with an active appeal. Tuesday morning, they journeyed from their Mountain View home and surrendered to the federal Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in San Francisco so her lawyer could make one last attempt. They were scheduled to be on a 1 a.m. Tuesday night flight to India.

The BIA denied the appeal, but shortly afterwards ICE authorities granted an indefinite stay said the pair's lawyer, Kalpana Peddibhotla. ICE confirmed it in a statement issued from its Laguna Niguel office.

"At the request of her lawyers, ICE granted Ms. Chahal a stay of deportation to afford her attorneys more time to pursue their legal options in this case," said Lori K. Haley, a spokeswoman for ICE.

The Facebook Group URGENT: Stop the Deportation of Mandeep Chahal, was started only Sunday and by Tuesday numbered 1,800 people. They phoned, urged the Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Rep Anna Eshoo, and faxed ICE to grant her a stay.

On just a couple days' notice, America's Voice, a group advocating "commonsense immigration reform" marshaled experts and hosted a teleconference with reporters to bring her case to light. Boxer's office confirmed staff had been in contact with Chahal's family and had contacted ICE about her case.

Below is the text of Chahal's note:

Dear friends,

I want to thank everyone who has embraced our story and spoken out on behalf of my mother and me. My family will be at home tonight, together, because of you.

This morning, my mother and I were taken into custody at the ICE office in
San Francisco. We were there less than two hours before ICE decided to grant
us a temporary stay and release us. I have no doubt that their decision was
a direct result of your faxes and calls to the Obama Administration. Please
continue these efforts until we reach a definitive resolution of our case.

I will keep you informed in the continuing push for lasting relief. I look
forward to sharing more of my story once the case is resolved. Once again, I
would like to express my profound gratitude to the thousands of people who
have rallied together in support of my family. I cannot begin to tell you
how much it means. Your activism could help create an America where no
family has to go through what mine has.

Mandeep Chahal

Pinky Rao June 22, 2011 at 07:54 AM
If she is here illegally, she must be deported. One must first have respect for the law of the land.
William Beare June 22, 2011 at 07:50 PM
The law of the land used to dictate that African Americans could not be legal citizens. The law of the land used to dictate that women couldn't vote and that blacks couldn't marry whites. Should we always blindly follow the law? Probably not.
L.A. Chung June 22, 2011 at 10:17 PM
Here's a comment from Dorothy Dickson, who taught Mandeep at Santa Rita School. Dorothy asked me to post this for her because she had problems getting this onto the comment section: Mandeep Chahal's case is one where amnesty should have been granted on entry to the US. As one of her first teachers in the US, I recognized in her one of the brightest minds I have ever had the privilege to teach. Mandeep has shown amazing leadership potential which has already been a force for good in this country. She is a beautiful young woman in the purest sense of that word. Mandeep is a pre-med student at Davis, and I know will continue to be someone who contributes greatly to this country. Dorothy Dickson
ConcernedSingleMom June 23, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Just as many murderers seem to be otherwise good people, it is not a reason to allow murderers to go unpunished. With millions of foreign freeloaders and criminals here illegally to exploit U.S. taxpayers, we must enforce our immigration laws if we care about our children's futures at all. Billions of U.S. tax dollars is given to illegals every year when they use our emergency rooms as free health clinics, get free educations for their kids and welfare checks for their anchor babies http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/05/local/la-me-illegal-welfare-20100906 http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2011/apr/most-illegal-immigrant-families-collect-welfare Nevada has the highest unemployment rate and the highest percentage of illegal workers in the country http://www.lvrj.com/news/pew-report-nevada-leads-in-number-of-illegal-workers-115030374.html Illegal immigrants depress our wages http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE2tNO3Uvs0 Illegal immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than U.S. natives. Half of the FBI's most wanted for homicide in America are Mexican citizens. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/24/us-immigration-fraud-idUSTRE71N68920110224 http://www.bing.com/browse?g=fbis_most_wanted&form=msnhed&gt1=36010#toc=0&citizenship_rbid=20,35&wanted_for_rbid=38 LEGAL, controlled immigration can be beneficial, but illegals are NEVER beneficial to our country http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyTmClBU7nA
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