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Advocacy group prevents deportation of 11-year-old refugee

An immigration court temporarily enjoined the deportation of an 11-year-old girl thanks to public outcry and assistance from those who took up her cause. As with many immigrants in Florida, she was seeking asylum in the U.S.

The girl, originally from El Salvador, was to be removed from the U.S. without her family, which included her mother and older sister. All are currently seeking asylum through the immigration and customs courts in the Houston area. An immigration rights group came to her assistance and filed an application to stay the order on her behalf. The stay was granted, and a hearing is scheduled for May 20. According to the advocacy group, the paperwork contained errors that led to the deportation order.

In addition to the assistance of the immigration group, a Texas Chief of Police pleaded for help on social media when hearing of her predicament. As an immigrant himself, he said he felt it was his moral duty to do so. Both the immigration group and the law enforcement official pointed to the large number of asylum applications and immigration court cases. The current backlog of cases is over 800,000 nationwide, including more than 50,000 cases in the girl's area. Many feel there is insufficient staff to handle these cases, making mistakes in the process more likely.

Those who have a deportation case pending may seek the assistance of an immigration attorney. Before any action is taken, the attorney should review all applications, motions, evidence and documents before the court. He or she may review these documents for accuracy and inform the court of errors as well as work to create a strong argument for granting asylum.

Source: Time.com "Judge Halts Deportation of 11 Year Old Girl Who Was Ordered to Leave Without Her Family," Melissa Chan April 17, 2019

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