Young Central American migrant girl seeking asylum walks along border fence.
(photo credit: LOREN ELLIOTT/REUTERS)
“The Nazi’s enforced their laws as well. You don’t separate children from their families! Ever!” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo wrote in a tweet, blasting the news that Laura Maradiaga, an 11 year-old migrant girl, would be deported without her family.
Maradiaga and her family came through the southern US border in early October and claimed asylum, according to the Houston Chronicle. The family has checked in with immigration officials every two weeks and was scheduled to appear in court in February, although the court date was rescheduled to March 12 due to the long government shutdown.
The official order against Maradiaga says she’s being deported because she did not appear at the March 12 court date. Her mother, Dora Alvarado, claims that they went to the immigration court that day but was told that Maradiaga wasn’t on the docket.
stated that it was unclear whether the court translator had given incorrect information or if the case was lost in the backlog of asylum cases delayed by the partial government shutdown.
The family’s lawyer, Silvia Mintz, said at a news conference that she would file to re-open Maradiaga’s case, blaming the Executive Office for Immigration Review, a branch of the Justice Department supervising immigration courts, for the mistake, according to the Hill
“They will be separated if this is not stopped,” Mintz said.
Child migrants who are deported separate from their parents usually arrived at the border without them, according to the Chronicle
The region they came from of La Paz, El Salvador has been riddled by gang violence, Alvardo said.
“The gangs don’t play by the rules of war,” Alvarado said. “It’s just violence for the sake of violence.”
The family reportedly ran to the US after a gang member began harassing and threatening Adamaris Alvarado, Dora’s 15 year-old daughter, according to the Hill
“I don’t want to be taken away from my mom,” Maradiaga said in Spanish during the news conference.
In another tweet, Acevedo said that if the family doesn’t meet immigration requirements, then they should be deported “as a family unit.”
“Both major political parties have failed to address this problem because it gives tnem an issue to pander to their respective base,” Acevedo wrote.
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