ICE declares activist a fugitive for failing to self-deport
SALT LAKE CITY — The Mexican activist Cecilia Figueroa, who has lived in Utah for a decade, appears as a “fugitive” on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) list after failing to leave the country on her own as the immigrant herself had agreed, authorities said.
In an official statement issued late Tuesday by ICE, the federal agency indicated that Figueroa “He did not keep his promise to leave the country.”
The document, signed by the spokesperson Alethea Smockreveals that Figueroa “was arrested twice by immigration officers for entering the United States illegally.”
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In March 2008, the statement indicates, “an expedited removal order was issued against her for having been convicted at the federal level of illegally re-entering” (the country).
According to the ICE spokeswoman, the case of Figueroa closed on August 27, when “the application for immigration benefits” was denied.
Instead of arresting and deporting her, for “Humanitarian reasons” she was released with the agreement that Figueroa would return to Mexico on September 2.
“She didn’t and now she’s still on the run,” Smock said.
In statements some time ago to the media in Salt Lake CityThe 55-year-old Mexican woman said she was interested in staying in the United States and seeking asylum so as not to return “to one of the most dangerous places in Mexico,” referring to the state of Guerrero.
A psychiatrist by profession, Figueroa worked as a volunteer in the group pro-immigrant Comunidades Unidas and at the Guadalupe Schoolwhere he collaborated in health and education programs.
Last week, when some 150 people mobilized asking that she not be deported, the immigrant explained that one of her nephews in Mexico had been kidnapped and murdered, and that two other nephews were victims of attempted kidnapping.
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At the same time, she assured, her fear was that, if she returned to Mexico, she herself would be a victim of violence.
In a statement from United Communitiesthe organization supported Figueroa’s decision to stay in the United States and seek asylum, acknowledging that it will be “a long and difficult process.”
As in other parts of the country, the Unitarian Church (in this case, the congregation in Salt Lake City) also expressed his support for the immigrant.
“Forcing someone back to a place where they are in danger does not make America great again,” said Pastor Monica Dobbins.
Under the slogan “Cecilia is from Utah,” Figueroa’s colleagues and friends at Comunidades Unidas activated an online form to receive donations, which to date has raised $1,670.