In Virginia, a federal Board of Immigration Appeals has stayed the deportation of two Charlotte-Mecklenburg students arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in January for being undocumented immigrants illegally living in the United States, it was announced on Wednesday by Representative Alma Adams.
The decision means that Pedro Auturo Salmeron and Yefri Sorto-Hernandez are no longer at risk of being immediately deported to El Salvador, where they claim to be in fear of their lives from violent gangs. ICE said the decision is effectively a “legal pause” to give immigration officials time to review the case further and make a decision as to whether the evidence for the case for asylum needs to be reconsidered.
The two teenagers are set to remain in a detention facility in the state of Georgia unless their release is ordered by the court while their case is under review. Adams said that the two did not deserve to be targeted for deportation and that they came to the United States as minors while fleeing the violence in Central America, making the case a prime example of why immigration reform is so desperately needed.
The arrests were part of a nationwide push to follow up on promises to remove recent undocumented immigrants and improve national security on the part of the Obama administration. The two teenagers lost their immigration cases over 12 months ago and were ordered to be deported from the United States, but their families claim they received inadequate legal counsel.