KLAS TV, Nevada Jan 22 2005 NV Lawmakers Have Power to Stop Girls' Deportation (Jan. 21) -- Eyewitness News first broke the story of two Las Vegas teens that could be sent back to Armenia on Tuesday. Since then, we have been closely reporting the developments. Late Friday afternoon a federal judged made an important ruling in the case. These two girls essentially grew up in Las Vegas. Their parents immigrated here 14 years ago. The father has a green card, but the girls and their mother do not. Now, the government wants to send the girls back to Armenia. But they know nothing about the country because they are fully Americanized. Immigration officials detained 18-year-old Emma Sarkisian and her 17-year-old sister Mariam as they sought to gain residency at a Las Vegas immigration office last Friday. They are now in Southern California waiting to be deported. The government is keeping their location quiet. But a source close to the case confirms with Eyewitness News the girls are being detained at a Best Western hotel. Security guards watch over their every move -- 24 hours a day. Family attorney Troy Baker said, "They have very little information coming to them. They don't know what's going to happen in any given minute. They're being whisked back and forth from hotels to detention cells without any knowledge of what's going on." Troy Baker wants Emma and Mariam released on bail until a judge decides whether they should be deported. It would allow the girls to resume their lives and allow Mariam go back to school at Palo Verde High School. Late Friday afternoon, on the third floor of the Las Vegas federal courthouse, six attorneys, three on each side, argued the girls' futures. The judge ruled in the government's favor, keeping the girls in custody. "And so we have to pull out all the stops on this case. We have to appeal to the public sentiment. We have to appeal to the powers that be," Baker stated. And Baker says his team has to appeal to politicians as well. There is one big wildcard in all of this and it falls squarely on the shoulders of Nevada lawmakers. They do have the ability to stop the deportation and allow the girls to live here permanently -- all with the stroke of a pen. It's called a private bill. Any congressperson or senator can make one. It overrides immigration laws and would give the girls special federal protection. Attorney Baker says, "Essentially it gives them the right to stay here indefinitely and stops all the proceedings and they cannot be harassed any further on this issue." Private bills are rare. There were only five last year. It is basically a private federal law granting citizenship to a specific person. It has to pass in both Houses of Congress and be signed by President Bush. But the Sarkisian's lawyers believe it is possible since Senator Harry Reid is now the minority leader. They hope to meet with the senator next week.