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  • Laura Maradiaga,11, stands with demonstrators, protesting her imminent deportation.

    Laura Maradiaga,11, stands with demonstrators, protesting her imminent deportation. | Photo: Fiel Houston

Published 12 April 2019

Seperation of migrant families is not new, however, deporting an 11-year old girl without her family is something different. 

Seperation of families that have migrated to the United States have received increased coverage since the Trump administration, although it has been nothing new, ICE and the courts have become increasingly rough on Trump's orders. However, ordering the deportation of an 11-year old girl without her family is something different. 

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279K US Born Immigrants in Danger Due to Trump’s Policies

Laura Maradiaga was ordered for deportation, without her family. Dora Alvarado, the mother of the 11-year-old and a 15-year-old, arrived at a Houston immigration court on March 12. However, while she and her 15-year-old daugther were ordered on the docket that day, her 11-year-old was not. It wasn't until a few weeks later, that a translator told her what was going on. 

Silvia Mintz, a lawyer provided to the family by Immigrant Families and Students in the Struggle (FIEL), a local immigration advocacy group, stressed that it was the fault of immigration officials for the girl’s missed court appearance, hence arguing for the court to re-open the case. “This mistake done by the immigration court has put this family in jeopardy,” Mintz said. “They will be separated if this is not stopped.”

The family was originally released from their detention to pursue their asylum case. Last year in October they arrived from El Salvador where thousands of families have fled from increasing gang violence. Now they are hoping to stop Maradiaga's deportation.

Meanwhile, the U.S. administration is seeking to ban anyone who has crossed the border illegally from defending their case for asylum in the United States. Refugees are forced to hold out in Mexico while their asylum request is being processed in the United States. 

U.S. President Donald Trump recently made headlines again for his derrogatory descriptions of migrants, referring to "immigrant gangs" as "animals and not people."


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