Across street from Dem Debate, Albanian man avoiding deportation watches, waits

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Just across the street from the FOX Theatre, Ded Rranxburgaj is close, yet so far away from the two-night Democratic debate.

FOX 2: "Are you going to watch these debates?"

"I'm going to watch them," he said.

It has been more than a year and a half since he and his disabled wife, Flora, sought sanctuary and took refuge inside the Central United Methodist Church.

"You know sometimes I say to myself - I'm going - but my wife keeps crying - no we're not going," he said.

"My husband takes care of me day and night - for everything," Flora said. 

"She says if he's deported it's basically a death sentence to her," said Rev. Jill Hardt-Zundel. 

Flora and Ded fled war and communism in Albania nearly 20 years ago. He wasn't granted asylum here and was ordered deported in 2009 - but Flora has M.S. and is completely reliant on her husband for care. 

Both were granted humanitarian status for years - until President Trump's immigration crackdown.

"After 30 years married - to deport my husband," she said.

Ded refused to leave his sick wife. They had raised a family here - he worked as a cook and paid taxes and was determined to stay, to make his case in court - but he never imagined they'd still be living in the church.

"Still inside it doesn't matter what you do - everything you do is still inside," he said. "It's very hard because I'm staying here for the past year and a half. Every day I got more stress more stuff."

Stress, weight loss, diabetes, high cholesterol - but still - as he looks to the next election and across the street to the Fox Theatre - a sliver - of hope.

FOX 2: "One of these candidates is going up against President Trump - what do you hope those people can do for you?"

"I hope the people can do a lot for me - to help, to make me and my family free - because I love the country," Ded said. 

FOX 2: What do you hope to hear about immigration?

"I hope to hear something better - not just for me," he said.

"We're waiting hopefully for somebody that will take the country in a different direction," said Zundel.