There wasn't much time.
The hour was getting late at the North Miami immigration forum. The four members of Congress were hungry.
But 18-year-old Carlos Rivas had something to say.
“My dad, he was two months ago arrested by ICE. I have my family right here: my mom and my three brothers and sisters. We don’t know what to do,” Rivas said.
“He’s about to be deported tomorrow at 4 a.m.” he said. “And I wanted to know what you could do for us. … What can you do? Is there any help you can try to give us?”
It was just after 9 p.m. Monday. Rep. Frederica Wilson, the Miami Democrat who hosted the forum, was floored.
“Oh my God,” she said. “Four a.m., in the morning? Why are you just telling us? We could have helped you perhaps. It’s too late.”
Someone from the audience of 200 or so citizens at Haitian Evangelical Baptist Church chimed in: “It’s never too late.”
Wilson ultimately delivered, rousting an immigration official out of bed and getting the deportation of Rene Rivas, an undocumented immigrant and father of four, stopped with just a few hours to spare.
Still, his time in the United States is in doubt.
"Obviously, I want to thank Congresswoman Wilson. And we're less stressed out,” Carlos Rivas said. “But this isn't over."
Court records indicate Rene Rivas could remain here until at least June 10, the deadline for an appeal. The family thought he might only have a week.Full story here