Decision reversed in deported DACA recipient case

An undocumented 32-year-old immigrant with three children who was sent back to Mexico this week, despite having not lived there since she was 15, will soon be allowed to return to the US. This comes after the decision to deport her was reversed by immigration officials, according to immigrant advocates yesterday.

The case of Lesly Sophia Cortez-Martinez is far from over, however, with deportation proceedings expected to commence when she arrives back in the United States. “Thankfully for Lesly she can reunite with her family, even though she could face a long court battle,” Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Cortez-Martinez’s attorney, told reporters in a conference call yesterday morning.

Cortez-Martinez is a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was enacted by President Obama back in 2012 and gives protection from deportation to those undocumented immigrants who came to the US before the age of 18.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services recently gave the mother of three, who is a nursing assistant, permission to visit her mother in Mexico City via the ‘advance parole’ process; however, she was detained and then deported by US Customs and Border Protection when she attempted to return to the United States at O’Hare International Airport last Sunday.

A 2004 deportation order is apparently the reason for the deportation; however, this order did not prevent her from being eligible for deferred action. Ruiz-Velasco says US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) refused to consider the emergency stay of removal she filed after her client’s detention; meanwhile, advocates say the case highlights the lack of accountability and transparency within Department of Homeland Security agencies.