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Judge seeks answers in case of detained Guatemalan mother


Associated Press
Friday, February 16, 2018

BOSTON — A federal judge in Boston has ordered immigration officials to explain why a Rhode Island mother of two young children was detained for a month before being released.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf wrote in an order Thursday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers must provide the legal basis for Calderon’s detention and the reason for her release this week. Wolf says Calderon’s arrest was “part of a pattern,” of immigration officials releasing individuals after their detention was challenged in court.

“The court has not been informed of the procedures that led to Calderon’s release, the reasons for it, or whether ICE asserts that it had lawfully detained Calderon and has the authority to do so again in the same manner,” the judge wrote.

Calderon, 30, whose parents brought her to the U.S. from Guatemala at age 3, was released Tuesday after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials granted her a three-month stay of deportation until May 12.

The court barred her deportation last week after the American Civil Liberties Union sued.

Calderon had been ordered removed from the country in 2002, after her father’s bid for asylum failed when she was 15 years old, her lawyer said. She had applied to become a lawful permanent resident through her husband, and the couple went for a routine interview at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Johnston on Jan. 17 to discuss their marriage.

An ICE spokesman told The Boston Globe it couldn’t comment on Calderon’s case while it’s pending.

“While ICE does focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security, no classes or categories of removable aliens are exempt from potential enforcement,” spokesman John Mohan said.