When Deportation Equals Death Sentence

Posted on 08/02/13

Every immigration case is different. That is what makes Immigration Law so complicated. These cases can drastically affect the lives of people in the United States and their families. In some cases, however, the consequences can be life or death.

This was the case for 22-year-old Laura S., who died in a violent attack in Reynosa, Mexico, after being deported without a fair trial in Immigration Court. According to the Texas Observer, Laura S. was the mother of three small children in Texas. She was stopped for a minor traffic violation and deported to Reynosa hours later.

Laura S. had a restraining order against her abusive ex-boyfriend, and member of a dangerous drug cartel, in Mexico. She also had a protective order from a U.S. court. She begged ICE officials not to send her to Mexico because she had three children and would be killed if she went back. She was deported anyways.

Days after being deported, Laura S. was attacked and abducted by her ex-boyfriend. Her body was found just outside of Reynosa. Texas RioGrande Legal Aid is filing a civil lawsuit on behalf of Laura S.’s mother and three children against the ICE officials who deported her without due process.

Jennifer Harbury, an attorney representing Laura’s family, stated that Laura, “was clearly eligible for relief from removal under several different standards… This woman was a victim of violence and someone who had helped with the prosecution of a dangerous person. If she would have had a hearing in front of an immigration judge—as she had the right to have—she would have never been removed from this country and she would not have had to die.”

Laura S. was wrongfully deported. Unfortunately, this is not the only instance of a wrongful deportation. This needs to be taken seriously by ICE officials and Immigration Judges. Deporting someone without fully understanding the circumstances can lead to tragic consequences. In the case of Laura S., she could have been relieved and did not have to die.

Click here to read more about the Lawsuit claims Deportation was a Death Sentence.