Clock ticking for Emilio and Analia Maya

In the Freeman today: An update on the case of Emilio and Analia Maya, the Argentinian brother-sister duo behind the Tango Cafe in Saugerties, who are currently facing deportation next month for having illegally overstayed their visas.

For now, the Mayas remain in the country, thanks to a one-year stay of deportation that was granted last year by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. But the stay runs out on February 7, and the Mayas' hopes now rest on a bill introduced by Congressman Maurice Hinchey that has so far failed to gain any traction.

On Thursday, Hinchey, D-Hurley, reintroduced a bill, known as a “private bill,” in Congress. If approved, the measure would give [Emilio] Maya permanent residency status in the United States.

Hinchey also appealed to Immigration Director John Morton for an extension to the one-year stay of deportation, which is set to expire on Feb. 7, while the bill is pending. A similar bill introduced in 2009 prompted immigration officials to issue the one-year stay, however that bill died without the bill being considered.

Meanwhile, Miami immigration attorney Steve Goldstein has taken on Maya’s case, saying the government’s effort to deport the former undercover operative “is not what this country is about.”

Meanwhile, Analia, the story says, is hoping that her petition to remain in the country as the wife of a U.S. citizen will be granted. She and her husband have a 17-month-old child together.

If you missed the AP's story about the Mayas last February, it's well worth a read. Also recommended: Patricia Doxsey's January, 2010 feature story about the siblings in the Daily Freeman. The Mayas contend that they were used by ICE, claiming that federal agents lured them into dangerous undercover informant work with promises of citizenship, and then moved to deport them when their work for ICE failed to yield arrests.