Monday, May 08, 2017

Immigrant mom arrested by ICE as her 8-year-old watched released by immigration judge (gabe Ortiz) · Friday, May 05, 2017, 10:40 pm

As Republicans issue empty “Cinco de Mayo” proclamations in “honor” of Mexican-Americans this week, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that ICE arrested and detained an undocumented immigrant mom, originally from Mexico, in a shopping center parking lot as her 8-year-old daughter watched on. Silvia Avelar-Flores, who came to the U.S. when she was only seven, faced imminent deportation, despite the fact that she has no criminal record and three U.S. citizen kids. Following public outcry, a rally in her support at a Utah ICE office that attracted dozens, and assistance from the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch, Silvia was released by an immigration judge and granted an additional 90 days in the U.S. "We are overjoyed," said one local leader:

Her husband, Carlos Juarez, 32, said he and the couple's three children are relieved and joyful. "This is good news," he said.

Juarez was gathering up Adrian, 10; Jazira, 8; and Ariana, 2, late Thursday afternoon for the drive to Logan, where Avelar-Flores has been detained since April 28. She was scheduled to be released at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Her extended family planned to gather for a reunion Thursday evening, said Juarez, a legal, permanent resident.

Avelar-Flores came to the U.S. with her parents from Mexico when she was 7.

A statement from ICE Wednesday said she had overstayed her visa for more than 20 years and that a final order for her deportation had been issued.

But Thursday afternoon, attorneys for Avelar-Flores filed a petition with immigration officials to stay the deportation order, Juarez said.

Separate documents also were submitted seeking her admittance into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted in 2012 by the Obama administration. It recognizes that young people who came to the U.S. with parents are not at fault. Previously, Avelar-Flores had not applied for DACA.

Thursday's stay, however, doesn't mean she is completely out of the woods. Immigration officials will continue to review her request to remain in the U.S.

Silvia is just among the thousands of undocumented immigrants with no criminal records to have been swept up and detained by Trump’s mass deportation force. Contrary to what Trump and DHS Sec. John Kelly insist, they are not focusing solely on “bad hombres” and dangerous criminals for deportation, but are in fact targeting hardworking moms and dads as well, like Silvia. Just ask Maribel, another immigrant mom with no criminal record. Any insistence otherwise from Trump and his team is simply a lie. And while Sen. Hatch did the right and just thing by intervening in Silvia’s case, it leads into the overall question here: What will he do for the millions of other Silvias across the nation who are also being targeted by his party’s standard bearer for arrest and separation from their families and homes in the U.S.?


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