Kona farmer who got support from Congressional delegation gets 30-day reprieve from deportation

Kona farmer who got support from Congressional delegation gets 30-day reprieve from deportation

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A respected Kona coffee farmer facing deportation got a 30-day reprieve Thursday, but agreed to leave the country if an agreement isn't reached.

Andres Magana said he's hopeful that he'll be allowed to remain in the islands permanently.

"I'm pretty happy," Magana said Thursday, after getting the reprieve. "It was very stressful. At least I can get another 30 days so that way I can continue and my lawyer can continue fighting this thing."

The additional time will allow the Department of Homeland Security to consider a petition to give Magana legal status as the husband of a U.S. citizen.

Immigration officials declined to discuss the case with Hawaii News Now, but agents made it very clear to Magana's attorney there will be no more extensions.

"They feel like they have a mandate to enforce the immigration laws and we understand that. The point we're trying to get across is what we're trying to do is comply with those immigration laws," said attorney Jim Stanton.

Magana's story has generated national headlines.

Hawaii's Congressional delegation and others asked the Department of Homeland Security to reconsider Magana's ordered deportation, pointing to his stature in the community and the fact that he was trying to attain a legal status.

On Thursday morning, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, called again on DHS to step in.

"Let Andres stay in our country. Let his children have a father present and active in their lives. It's not too late to keep this family together," Hirono said.

Magana was smuggled into the United States when he was 15 to live with his mother. Over the past 30 years he's managed to go from being a farm hand to farm owner. His three children are all US citizens.

The government agreed he is of good moral character.  He was being allowed to stay in the country while  working toward citizenship -- but under the Trump administration immigration restarted the deportation process.

If Magana is deported he wouldn't be allowed to return to the United States for 10 years.

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