Dad Days Away From Deportation Reunited With Family

6/15/2008 Fresno, CA The Mkoian family was just days away from deportation when Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a private bill that stopped deportation proceedings.

Arthur Mkoian hadn't seen his father for more than two months. "I was thinking we wouldn't see him until we got back to Armenia," said Arthur Mkoian.

Federal officials had already given Ruben Mkoian a plane ticket back to Armenia. Then, earlier this week, he got word he didn't have to leave, after all. "I'm happy. Because I never think I'm going to be back again and see my family again," said Ruben.

Ruben was reunited with his wife and two sons Saturday after a long bus ride from a federal detention facility in Tucson, Arizona to California. The rest of the family was ordered to report to immigration officials June 20th, but a private bill introduced Tuesday gave them a reprieve.

"It seems like a miracle. We were planning to leave already and this comes up and now we're staying, at least for a while," said Arthur Mkoian.

Arthur graduated Tuesday, the same day the bill was introduced. The Bullard High School valedictorian was planning on attending UC Davis in the fall, but because of money issues, and because the family's immigration status is in limbo, that will be delayed for a year.

For now though, there is a sense of relief because the family is back together. "I'm really happy right now. I'm just excited about - we're all going to catch up and have a good time until we find out what happens," said Arthur.

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