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Earlier this year we learned that the Obama administration, in an attempt to deter illegal border crossings, had started to target recently arrived Central American teenagers for deportation. Despite outcry from the community and increasing reports of violence in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, these cruel enforcement actions have not stopped. Since January, several North Carolina teens have been detained on their way to school, their job, or living the life they had built for themselves after fleeing violence in their home countries.
One of these teens, Pedro Salmeron-Salmeron is now facing imminent deportation. Despite having a pending asylum claim with USCIS—and the Obama administration’s recent announcement to expand efforts to protect refugees fleeing violence in Central America—Pedro could be deported to El Salvador as early as tonight.
Pedro is just one of the 800 teenagers who arrived as unaccompanied children and have been detained and/or deported by ICE since October.
All of these young people fled gang and state violence to seek safety and join their families in the United States. Now, their very lives are being used to “send a message” to other young people in the Northern Triangle of Central America. The Obama Administration is making a cruel and chilling calculation, putting the lives of these teens in danger once again. At least 83 people have been murdered after being deported from the US to these countries since 2014.
This is an urgent plea for transparency and accountability on behalf of Action NC, North Carolina families, teachers, and schools as well as our national allies.
Pedro, an 18 year-old from El Salvador, came to the U.S. after his cousin was decapitated and mutilated by gang members and Pedro himself received death threats from the same gang. His parents live in the U.S. and did not have access to proper legal representation—yet ICE is trying to deport him before his asylum case has a chance to proceed.
In aggressively moving forward with these deportations, DHS is also ignoring its own deportation priorities memo. The November 2014 deportation guidelines provides discretion for people who qualify for asylum or another form of relief under our laws, even if they do constitute a priority. At a time when Democrats are united at their convention in Philadelphia, it’s up to the community to make sure the Administration lives up to the ideals we’ve heard many celebrate from the stage. These deportations have to stop today.
Please call DHS at 202-282-8204 to help stop Pedro’s deportation today.