After Marco Antonio Rua, chief engineer at the Wisconsin condominium in North Bethesda, was ordered by immigration authorities to leave the country along with his 17 year old daughter, residents of the condominium began working on his behalf.
His petition for permanent residency had been denied because it was not filed properly and therefore it was no longer legal for him to be in the US. The residents of the condominium, including Hawaii’s senator Daniel Inouye, petitioned Congress and the Department of Homeland Security to let Rua remain in the US. Their support for Rua was demonstrated through 333 signatures gathered for a petition in just 24 hours in addition to a total of $2,400 in donations to help with his legal fees. Since his arrival to the US in 1995, his efforts at the Wisconsin have saved the condominium thousands of dollars in maintenance and repairs.
Senator Inouye a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act which if passed would offer a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants advised Gail Shultie, the property manager of the Wisconsin, to contact Maryland lawmakers for support in Rua’s case.
Andrea, Rua’s daughter, is in her fourth year at Montgomery College pursuing a career as a dentist but if deported she will have to end her education and go back to Spain with her father. Rua’s son was born in the US and is considered a citizen but with no one able to stay behind with him, he and his mother will have to go back to Peru where she has citizenship.
Shultie says the condo will petition for Rua and his family’s return if they are deported.