CHICAGO – Immigration officials granted a deportation delay to allow a man to donate a kidney to his sister. The siblings were reunited, Thursday afternoon.
Jazmin Longoria-Lara, 23, was exhausted from dialysis when she stepped out of a car and into the arms of the big brother who could save her life.
"I feel dizzy, but I'm just smiling because I feel happy that he's here," said Longoria-Lara.
It has been a long road for Jazmin. A kidney donated by her mother failed. Jazmin's brother, Argenis, is the only other relative who is a match. But after pleading guilty to burglary and serving more than a year behind bars, he was set to be deported to Mexico.
The family and their church appealed and asked Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Luis Guitierrez for help.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement approved a humanitarian release. Argenis was transferred from the McHenry County Jail and processed at a federal building in downtown Chicago. He walked out Thursday afternoon with a 6 month reprieve from deportation.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released the following statement:
"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) placed a detainer Feb. 6, 2014 with Stateville Correctional Center on Argenis Longoria-Lara while he was serving his prison sentence for felony burglary. He was turned over to ICE custody Jan. 21, 2015. On April 1, he was ordered removed by a federal immigration judge.
On May 21, 2015, ICE granted Mr. Longoria-Lara a six-month stay of removal and released him from ICE custody on electronic monitoring. After this stay of removal expires, ICE will review Mr. Longoria-Lara's case to determine what further action is required.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carefully considers and reviews all requests for prosecutorial discretion based on humanitarian grounds. ICE remains focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of convicted criminals and public safety threats. ICE exercises prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis, considering the totality of the circumstances in an individual case."
No surgery date has been set. The siblings will begin testing at Loyola University Medical Center on Friday.