Lawsuit Claims Woman’s Deportation Was a Death Sentence

Lawsuit Claims Woman’s Deportation Was a Death Sentence

"The U.S. government deported 387,790 people in 2009, one of them a frightened 22-year-old victim of domestic abuse known, in a lawsuit filed Wednesday [June 5, 2013,] as “Laura S.”  Despite having a restraining order against her abusive ex-boyfriend—she warned immigration agents he’d kill her if she returned to Mexico—Laura S. was deported without ever seeing an immigration judge.

Within days of being deported the young mother of three was abducted in the Mexican border city of Reynosa, by her ex-boyfriend, a member of a notorious drug cartel.  On June 14, 2009, her body was found in a burning car in downtown Reynosa.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and the South Texas Civil Rights Project filed the civil lawsuit on behalf of Laura S.’s three young children, against the U.S. immigration agents who deported their mother.  According to the lawsuit, a despondent Laura S. begged ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials not to send her to Mexico, telling them her ex-boyfriend would kill her if she returned.

Laura S. told the agents that she had a protective order from the U.S. court against her abuser and that she had three small children at home in Texas, according to the lawsuit.  Despite her pleas, within hours of being stopped for a minor traffic violation in Pharr, Texas, Laura S. was sent back to Mexico.

Lawyers representing her children say she was denied due process and ultimately sent to her death." - Melissa del Bosque, Texas Observer, June 6, 2013.