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Kimberly’s Deportation Has Been Halted, But She Still Remains In Detention After More Than Five Weeks

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We’ve received word that Kimberly, a 10th grader who was facing imminent deportation to danger in Honduras, has received a stay of removal. However, it appears ICE has not yet released her from detention, or has yet responded to her legal counsel about when she will be released.

Just a few days ago, advocates shared Kimberly’s harrowing story with us. Kimberly, a 10th grader in the Atlanta area, fled Honduras after gangs threatened to sexually assault her and her sister. She was thriving in the US, only to be arrested by ICE officials on her way to school, and has now been in detention for over five weeks assembling packets of clothes for incoming detainees for one dollar a day.

Kimberly’s story has gained attention of media — as have the stories of other detained Central American youth fleeing violence, like Wildin, Pedro, and Yefri — and advocates gathered more than 25,000 petitions signatures demanding a stop to her deportation and that she be released back to her Atlanta-area home where she belongs.

As the American Immigration Lawyers Association recently noted about the case, “No one should be deported before their protection claims can be heard. The vulnerabilities and dangers are particularly acute in the case of children. These raids are a symptom of a much larger problem. The Administration must fully acknowledge that individuals and families fleeing Central America deserve humanitarian protection rather than punishment. And it must stop using aggressive enforcement tactics that spread fear throughout our communities.”

Now that a judge has granted Kimberly a stay of removal, her family and advocates are anxious for her return, and earlier today joined Congressional leaders like Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Rep. Linda Sanchez to highlight Kimberly’s story, and stories of other Central American youth fleeing violence.