Undocumented Charlotte teen gets deportation reprieve

An undocumented teenager who came to the city of Charlotte from El Salvador, after fleeing gang violence, has been granted a temporary reprieve from deportation whilst waiting for the results of his bid for asylum in the United States.

Pedro Arturo Salmeron, aged 18, was due for deportation on Thursday. He was taken from a detention center in Georgia in preparation, only for his attorney to win an emergency stay from the Board of Immigration Appeals on Friday. It is likely that Salmeron will return to Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center to await a decision on his case, according to his attorney, J Britt Thomas. The Charlotte teenager was one of half a dozen immigrants in North Carolina apprehended in a series of arrests that hit the headlines because some were allegedly caught when heading to school. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement deny the allegation.

Salmeron put in an application for asylum earlier this year in the hope of being able to stay with his parents in Charlotte. He has remained for the last six months, held without bond, in a Lumpkin detention center.

The other Charlotte teen, Yefri Sorto-Hernandez, also among those arrested in the controversial operation, is now back living in Charlotte after release on a bond by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement a few weeks ago. Salmeron’s family claims that he lost a cousin to violent gangs in El Salvador, prompting him to flee to the United States.