Blumenthal, family fight to extend stay granted for sick father facing deportation

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STAMFORD -

A Stamford man in need of a kidney transplant was granted a six-month stay before being deported, but some say that's still not enough time.

Nelson Santos is scheduled to receive his kidney transplant later this summer and currently spends at least three days a week receiving dialysis.

Many close to him say that six months is not enough time for Santos to get the surgery and recover.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal met with Santos Friday morning to understand the kind of treatment the Honduras-born father of three needs to survive.

Santos has been in the country for 30 years and is married to a United States citizen. He says he also works and pays his taxes.

"It's very hard when I talk to my daughter," Santos said. "And they tell me 'why do you have to go? Why? We need you here. Why do you have to go to Honduras?' I say 'I have to go because they want to send me over there.'"

In addition to kidney failure, Santos also suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure. He says he wouldn't be able to receive the proper medical care to keep him alive in Honduras.

Blumenthal and Santos' brother say sending him back to Honduras would essentially be a death sentence. They are both fighting for a longer stay and path to citizenship.

"He has played by the rules, he has no criminal record, he is the kind of person we should welcome in this country--not reject," Blumenthal said.

Santos' wife of four years said she successfully filed an application using her citizenship status to help Santos get a green card but that he was told he must leave the country during that process.

For the time being, Santos says this Father's Day will be an exceptionally special one. He plans to barbecue and spend as much time with his children as possible.

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