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Steve Li to Be Released From Detention; Deportation on Hold After Feinstein Intervenes

| November 20, 2010
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From the San Francisco Chronicle:

It seemed that all odds were against Steve “Shing Ma” Li, a City College of San Francisco student who has been incarcerated for more than two months, awaiting deportation to a country where he had no friends or family.

But Friday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced plans to release Li from a detention center in Florence, Ariz., where he has been in custody since Oct. 8. His destination is not Peru, his country of birth, but back home to San Francisco, where he is expected to arrive today…

Li’s reversal of fortune came after U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., intervened. On Monday, Li was scheduled to fly out, but Friday, Feinstein introduced a private bill to stall the deportation process.

“I decided to introduce a private bill on Steve’s behalf because I believe his removal would be unjust before the Senate gets a chance to vote on the Dream Act,” Feinstein said in a statement.

ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice attributed Li’s release to Feinstein’s bill. Kice said in a statement that “Mr. Li’s removal has been stayed, and the stay will remain in effect for 75 days after the end of the Congress.”

Li’s lawyer, Sin Yen Ling, said the 20-year-old nursing student will be on a supervised release program with ICE. She booked a Greyhound bus ticket for him Friday night because he does not have an ID and cannot board a plane. Full article

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