Avelar sisters give thanks for reprieve from deportation | Buzz Blog
We need your help.

Newspapers and media companies nationwide are closing or suffering mass layoffs since the coronavirus impacted all of us starting in March. City Weekly's entire existence is directly tied to people getting together in groups--in clubs, restaurants, and at concerts and events--which are the industries most affected by new coronavirus regulations.

Our industry is not healthy. Yet, City Weekly has continued publishing thanks to the generosity of readers like you. Utah needs independent journalism more than ever, and we're asking for your continued support of our editorial voice. We are fighting for you and all the people and businesses hardest hit by this pandemic.

You can help by making a one-time or recurring donation on PressBackers.com, which directs you to our Galena Fund 501(c)(3) non-profit, a resource dedicated to help fund local journalism. It is never too late. It is never too little. Thank you. DONATE

Avelar sisters give thanks for reprieve from deportation

by

1 comment
At lunchtime Thursday, the three Avelar sisters, Barbara, Laura and Silvia, gave thanks before the press for “the miracle” they had so desperately sought.---

The previous Monday, the sisters had stood in front of the LDS Temple in downtown Salt Lake City, desperate to stave off a June 15 deportation order.

Brought over as children from Mexico City in 1993, they had overstayed their tourist visas. They blamed an unscrupulous attorney, or possibly a notario [a Hispanic version of a notary], for taking money to fix their parents’ immigration status but then doing nothing about it. 

Despite President Obama’s 2011 memos requesting that low-priority offenders be taken off the pick-up lists by ICE’s fugitive ops team, first the sisters’ parents were arrested and deported earlier this year, and then were told to prepare to leave the country, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, without a court hearing. None of them have criminal histories, beyond their lack of papers.

Quite why ICE decided to grant them a year-long reprieve isn’t clear.

“They got lucky, I guess,” says immigration attorney Aaron Tarin. “Most people don’t take the initiative to stand in front of the temple to tell their story.”

Immigrant-advocate Tony Yapias says the Avelar case is one of a number of such cases across the country, where families and small Dream Teams [pro-immigrant advocate groups] “are standing up to immigration authorities in the public eye.”

Silvia Avelar says families in the situation her sisters found themselves in –- facing deportation for being undocumented residents -- “should keep fighting their case. You have to do whatever you need to in order to have a fair trial,” she says.

Meanwhile, Salt Lake City immigration judge Dustin Pead was selected for a federal-magistrate position several weeks ago, raising the possibility of an increased backlog of cases weighing down on Judge William Nixon, the soon-to-be sole remaining immigration judge.