HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – An 11-year-old girl in Houston is facing deportation back to El Salvador — alone. This is according to an immigration rights group and a family that blames the government shutdown earlier this year for the issue.
KTRK-TV reports that the family is worried Laura Maradiga Alvarado could be deported by herself within weeks as she continues to attend middle school in the area.
The immigration rights group, FIEL, told KTRK that the family was going to immigration court, but one of the appearances was canceled earlier this year due to the government shutdown.
“[We] find ourselves with an 11-year-old who could potentially get deported to El Salvador, by herself… Through a great mistake we believe the immigration system created,” said Cesar Espinoza, executive director of FIEL.
According to the group, the canceled appearance and a language barrier have led to the 11-year-old being lost in the immigration system. The family received the deportation notice on Wednesday.
FIEL says it got an attorney for Laura in order to file an appeal for the decision and keep the child with her family.
“This mistake done by immigration court has put this family in jeopardy, they would be separated if it is not solved,” attorney Sylvia Mintz told KTRK.
“We ask immigration to reconsider this and we ask immigration to look further to prevent these types of cases and these types of situations from happening,” Espinoza said.