Monday, October 03, 2016

Immigrant rights activist may be deported after hiding her status

The last thing anyone in the immigrant activist community would have expected was that Wendy Uruchi Contreras would be arrested and potentially deported.

On May 28, the community organizer for CASA, a national immigrants rights organization based in Maryland, was stopped by police and arrested for a DUI after having had two margaritas at a restaurant. Her blood alcohol was twice the legal limit for driving.

Her arrest sent a shock wave through the activist community, with petitions from organizations such as being filed to stop her deportation.

Uruchi’s attorney, Enid Gonzalez, told Fox News Latino her team filed for a “stay of removal” with the Department of Homeland Security on Friday.

“Her case is very unusual," Gonzalez said. "Since she came to the U.S. on a visa waiver" – which allows visitors from 38 countries to stay for up to 90 days without a visa – "she automatically waived any possible effort to block removal from the country.”

Gonzalez added, “Had she come in undocumented, she'd have a strong defense for cancellation for removal, because of her children. She’d meet those requirements.”

The decision on her stay of removal could take a day or six weeks. If immigration authorities recommend granting it, she’ll likely have a year to remain in the U.S., and Gonzalez says immigration officials keep very close tabs on people in those circumstances.


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