Brought to America as children, 3 mothers now face deportation to Mexico

Published: Monday, June 4 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

David Terrazas, a spokesman for advocacy organization Salt Lake Dream Team, is encouraging calls to ICE Director John Morton to urge him to stop the deportation of the three women.

Members of the organization also circulated letters urging officials to halt their deportation, that they hope supporters will sign and submit to ICE officials.

Tapia Avelar said an attorney is also working on their behalf to attempt to ask the government to intervene.

A memo issued by the Obama administration in June 2011 informed ICE officials of their prosecutorial discretion with respect to investigations, arrests, detention, parole, initiation of removal proceedings and the execution of final orders.

Officials may take into consideration individuals with serious health conditions, people with serious mental or physical disabilities, pregnant or nursing women, victims of domestic violence and long-time lawful permanent residents, among others factors.

Kice said in a statement that "ICE exercises prosecutorial discretion on an individual basis, based on totality of the circumstance in each case."

“Through smart and effective immigration enforcement, this administration remains committed to prioritizing immigration enforcement resources to target criminal aliens and individuals who put public safety at risk, as well as those who threaten border security or the integrity of the immigration system," she said in a statement.

Tapia Avelar said she and her sisters are law-abiding. The ICE agents who took them into custody "treated us like we were a trophy" because they had not violated any laws, she said.

"It's been a nightmare. We can't sleep at night wondering what is going to happen to us."

Related article: ICE grants Utah sisters a receive one-year reprieve from deportation order

Try out the new DeseretNews.com design!
try beta learn more
Get The Deseret News Everywhere