Albanian mom to three American children who was told she had to leave U.S. is given a year's reprieve from deportation

  • Cile Precetaj, 41, of Detroit, Michigan, was told yesterday she has been granted a stay of removal for another year
  • She also had her ankle monitor removed
  • She had been ordered to report for deportation at Detroit Metro Airport at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday for a flight back to Albania
  • She received a letter from authorities informing her of her deportation on Monday, a day before her scheduled flight
  • In a desperate bid to buy time, she deliberately missed her flight, instead staying at home with her family around her
  • She expected to be taken to jail as the authorities organize another flight before she got the good news, though her future still isn't certain
  • Her husband has lived in the U.S. for 40 years and her three children, aged 11, six and four, are U.S. citizens enrolled in the local school
  • She is also the sole carer for her elderly mother-in-law who can't eat or walk on her own

By Helen Pow and Daily Mail Reporter



Happier: Cile Precetaj, pictured, learned late Tuesday that her case is being reviewed and she can remain in her Detroit home pending the outcome

An illegal immigrant from Albania with three American-born children who was to be deported Tuesday has been granted a reprieve, gaining at least one more year in America.

Cile Precetaj, 41, has also had her ankle tether removed, much to her relief and that of her children, who were bothered by the government ordered device.

Precetaj received a call from authorities Friday afternoon telling her to report to the immigration office in Detroit for the removal of her tether. While there, she was given a letter which informed her that her stay of removal request had been granted for one year.

'Now I can [chaperone] my son’s field trip to Ohio,' Precetaj told the Detroit Free Press.

The Free Press notes that when Precetaj's one year is up, her lawyer will file another stay of removal request, which likely be granted as long as she complies with the law.

'I am very happy. This is good news. All I want is to stay here and raise my kids and have a normal life,' she said.

Precetaj was told to report for deportation at Detroit Metro Airport at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday but defied the order, choosing instead to stay home and wait for U.S. Immigrations Customs and Enforcement agents to come to her.

But they never did, as late on Tuesday she learned her case was being reviewed.

'I was just hugging my kids, saying "thank you, thank you, thank you." I don't have to be scared,' Precetaj told the Detroit Free Press after hearing the news.

Relief: Albanian immigrant Cile Precetaj and her family are celebrating her stay of removal order that came through yesterday

Relief: Albanian immigrant Cile Precetaj and her family are celebrating her stay of removal order that came through yesterday

She said she was hopeful the authorities will allow her to stay in the U.S. permanently and 'raise my kids in this beautiful country.'

'I feel so glad, and I appreciate what they do for me right now,' she told FREEP. 'Hopefully, it's going to work for me and they're going to keep me here.'

Precetaj came to the U.S. illegally through Canada 13 years ago fearing that if she stayed in Albania she would be kidnapped and sold into prostitution. She also had an abusive fiance.

She immediately turned herself in and sought asylum. While in the U.S. illegally, she married Pjetero Gojcevic, who was born in Yugoslavia but moved to the U.S. 40 years ago, and the couple had three kids, Mikey, 11, Migena, six and Martina, four, all U.S. citizens.

In a statement late Tuesday, ICE confirmed the hard-working mother, who has no criminal convictions, would have her case reviewed.

'ICE is presently conducting a review of Ms Precetaj's case, therefore her removal is not imminent at this time,' agency spokesman Khaalid Walls told FREEP.


Tears: Precetaj, pictured with her three U.S.-born children Mikey, 11, right, Migena, 6, center, and Martina, 4, left, was told Monday that she had to leave

Gojcevic said he hoped the government gives his wife another chance.

'Hopefully, they'll have a change of heart,' Gojcevic told FREEP. 'I hope they find it in their hearts not to split up a family.'

The review comes after Precetaj's heartbreaking case made national headlines Tuesday and prompted an outpouring of support.

Gojcevic said the whole ordeal has had a devastating impact on the couple's three children.

'The girls want to know why they're not going to school. They're on pins and needles,' Gojcevic said.


Devastating: Cile Precetaj, pictured right, who came to the States seeking asylum 13 years ago, was ordered to report for deportation at Detroit Metro Airport at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday for a flight back to her native Albania

'There is a level of insanity in this case,' Precetaj's attorney Andrew Johnson told MailOnline earlier on Tuesday as he fought to keep Precetaj with her husband and children. 'Someone is not doing what is ordinarily done. There is an abuse of power.'

Precetaj is the sole carer of her elderly mother-in-law, another U.S. citizen, whose toes were amputated and needs help eating, walking and washing.

But her case for political asylum was rejected after a judge said her testimony about fearing the prostitution trade and criminal activity in Albania lacked credibility. He said even if her concerns were warranted 'young, attractive women are not a social group for asylum.'


Packing up: Precetaj, pictured center with her kids, chose not to go to the airport and remained at home with her packed bags, waiting for authorities but they didn't come


Seeking asylum: Precetaj came to the U.S. through Canada in 2000 fearing that if she stayed in Albania she would be kidnapped and sold into prostitution. She immediately turned herself in and sought asylum

After losing her appeal in 2008, she was given a deportation order.

An estimated 500,000 people are living in the U.S. with a deportation order, however, U.S. Immigrations Customs and Enforcement only acts on a portion of cases and the Obama Administration specifically said targeting people with criminal convictions was the priority.

Precetaj has none. In fact, she's a glowing member of her community, described by friends and her children's teachers as a hard-working mother who pays her taxes and helps her kids with schoolwork, not to mention keeping her elderly mother-in-law out of a government-funded home.

'Detroit has gone off the map here,' Johnson said before the case review was announced. 'They are doing something that has not been done around the country. This person probably has as many positive evaluations as you can, she has three children who are U.S. citizens and has been here for a long time. I'm just baffled.'


Settled in: While here, she married Pjetero Gojcevic, who was born in Yugoslavia but moved here 40 years ago, and the couple had three kids, including Martina, 4, pictured

Precetaj became concerned about two weeks ago, when at her regular six-month check in with the deportation department she was fitted with a GPS ankle bracelet. But the mother-of-three was convinced ICE wouldn't deport a woman whose three kids are American-born.

'That is strange they put an ankle bracelet on a mom with three kids,' Johnson said, referring to the low risk of her fleeing. 'Then the day before her scheduled flight they said "You're flying out tomorrow, here's your information." They didn't want the bad press.

'I think they wanted it to look as natural as possible because they understood how egregious this case is. It just doesn't make sense.'

If officials did not decide to review her case, the authorities would have been forced to collect Precetaj from her home yesterday and take her into custody. At midday Tuesday, she was pictured in her living room, with her family surrounding her awaiting ICE officers.

Precetaj and her children were crying as they hugged by the Christmas tree, and the woman's mother-in-law was asking what would become of her if her daughter was sent home. Other relatives, including a cousin, were visibly upset at the heartbreaking situation the family has been thrown into.


Hugs: Precetaj has not decided, if she is in fact deported, whether to take the kids, who have never been to Albania, with her


Review: The mother's case will be reviewed

'They will jail her for one to three weeks, however long it takes to organize another flight,' Johnson told MailOnline of the process. 'Then border guards will drive her to the airport and take off her ankle bracelet like she's a mass murderer or a terrorist going to Guantanamo.'

Johnson and the family were working desperately for someone in Washington D.C. to interject.

'We need somebody in the White House, connected to ICE, to say "stop this immediately. This is wrong." If someone in DC hears about this, that is our best chance. Her story just hasn't been heard.'

Understandably, Precetaj was beside herself, and was still trying to work out if she would take her children, who are enrolled in school and have never been to Albania, with her. Her husband works as a cook at restaurant in Detroit and said he can't afford to raise the children on his own.

'She is an emotional mess,' Johnson explained.


Deportation: Precetaj was informed Monday that she had to report at Deport's McNamara terminal at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday as per the above order


Empty: But the terminal, pictured, was empty at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, as the mother-of-three defied the order by staying home

'What she has been told by numerous people was that they don't deport women with three US citizen children and that is exactly what they're doing.

'She is crying all the time, trying to work out who she can take and who she can't. She's going back to Albania and that is not a good place to bring a 6-year-old girl, particularly.'

He added: 'It happened in one day, she has no idea what to do.'

Gojcevic told the Detroit Free Press Monday night the family was 'hoping for a miracle.'

'The basis of this request is that Ms. Precetaj would like to remain in the United States to care for her three children. After weighing the factors as related to Prosecutorial Discretion, I have determined that the stay of removal will be granted for a period of one year,' read the letter Precetaj received yesterday from the U.S. Immigration and Customs office.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Try sending a cool eight million illegal Mexican mothers along with their millions of anchor babies First. The problem here is this woman is white and her people aren't here electing democrats.

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When she was denied amnesty why didn't she apply for a green card and go through the process to become a citizen? I'm sure it was made clear to her years ago what it would take to stay legally, forever if she wished. It's a nasty situation now, but one she could have avoided.

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Let's just let everyone with anchor kids stay...laws are in place for a reason. This woman feels above the law and used the media to get her way.

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Why don't we just open our borders up officially for all to enter and stay as long as they want? What a joke of a system... if you haven't heard of "anchor babies" before, here you go

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Why didn't her husband file for her residency?

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It pays to be white!

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People know the rules. Don't mess with the rules

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The government finally did something right... Going after her was a wast of Money & time.. I wish her and her children good health and good luck..

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Wonder why Obumble's drunk driving illegal uncle was JUST given permanent residence status? I hate double standards.

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Disgusting, why reward her for wrong doing? This country is a joke....

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Before starting my own business I worked at two Republican owned businesses, the first a high tech firm that made wet etch equipment for the computer and medical industries. One bench we made could sell for 5 million dollars yet half the employees were illegal aliens and they were always trying to replace us citizens. I laughed when the illegal guys got together and ask for a raise and the owner told them " no raise we have done a lot for you we taught you English" they quit, so they hire another batch. The other place was metal fabrication Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TIG) only two of the 18 welders weren't illegal aliens and of the 200 people working the at least 150 were illegal aliens. The illegals didn't take the offered health insurance because they did want to pay the copay instead opting to go to the emergency room. That is like 300 illegals working in those two companies hired by Republican owners with probably 800 kids enrolled in school. How much did that cost the taxpayers?

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I've looked at her skin and she doesn't look like an albino to me.

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LOL. Albanian, not albino

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She probably uses those Lithuanian batteries in her flashlight.

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