New Policy Allows Ecuadorian Woman to Stay in NYC

ICE arrest a man

New guidelines from President Barack Obama’s administration that give immigrants some leeway have allowed an Ecuadorian woman and her 6 year old daughter (who was born in the US) to stay in New York City. The Wall Street Journal reports that the woman came to the US on a six-month visa but overstayed her time limit. She was later taken off a bus and arrested in front of her daughter, who has been treated for psychological trauma ever since.

How Was Her Case Resolved?

The woman’s lawyers submitted three requests to the immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) before the case was resolved. The case was successful because of a new strategy, initiated by Barack Obama, that gives ICE administration more power to end immigration cases with special circumstances. These guidelines consider whether the defendants arrived as children, served in the military, have relatives who are citizens or are college students, etc. In this case, the defendant argued that her daughter and her daughter’s father were born in the US, and deporting her would break up the family. The ICE will not be closing any cases where a public safety risk may be involved.

Obama’s New Approach

The new strategy, that gives ICE administration more prosecutorial discretion is by no means a permanent change. It was enacted to help catch up on the backlog of over 16 000 cases which have not been addressed. So far, about 2,700 such cases have been administratively closed, and about 200 of those cases were in New York City, according to a Syracuse University analysis. To help accelerate the process, many of the agency’s offices are being closed part time, so that the backlog can receive more attention.

A Happy Ending?

Although the defendant will not be detained for now, she still has not been accepted as a legal resident, so she can not leave the country without the fear of not being let back in. Recently the defendant’s mother died but she could not go to Ecuador because she was afraid she would not be able to get back into the US. According to the defendant, her daughter, who has witnessed the entire situation, “is always asking me if the police are going to take me far away from her.” Thanks to her lawyers putting pressure on the ICE, this woman is at least free from worries that she will be detained in front of her daughter again.


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Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.


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