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Uproar causes immigration case to be revisited

Immigrants who call Florida their home may have some understanding of how deportation works. Generally speaking, anyone who is not in the country legally could be sent back to their country of origin. This may be true even if the individual is a child. One case involving an 11-year-old was reopened after a judge initially ordered her to be sent back home without her mother or sister. It is believed that a clerical error resulted in the order to sent the child home alone.

An attorney for the girl said that it was likely a result of an overworked staff as opposed to anything done maliciously. It was a series of tweets from Houston's police chief that resulted in the immigration case gaining mainstream attention. He equated what was happening to the girl to how people were treated during World War II. According to the child's mother, the family had originally fled from El Salvador to get away from gang violence.

The chief said that the case meant something to him because he was an immigrant from Cuba. Both the police officer and the girl's attorney said that the system was broken and needed to be fixed. There are currently more than 855,000 thousand immigration cases that are pending in the United States. The government shutdown was cited as one reason for the increased backlog.

Individuals who are coming to the United States to flee violence or persecution are generally allowed to make an asylum claim. If the claim is granted, an individual may have the right to live in the country and have access to limited services. An attorney may be able to help a person make a claim or better understand the process of obtaining it.

Source: TIME, "Judge Halts Deportation of 11-Year-Old Girl Who Was Ordered to Leave Without Her Family", Melissa Chan, April 17, 2019

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