AUSTIN — Thursday evening, ICE officials at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, Texas told Melvin Griselda Cruz-Lopez that there had been no appeal filed in her case and she must sign her own deportation. They stated she would go crazy spending six more months there, like the other women do, when she refused.
These intimidation tactics come on the heels of an asylum appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals filed last week by Griselda’s attorney.
“Coercing a desperate mother seeking asylum to sign deportation paperwork while an appeal is in process with the Board of Immigration Appeals is unlawful and reprehensible,” said Melvin Griselda’s attorney Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch.
Earlier this month, Griselda began speaking publicly about her case in the hope of winning her freedom so she can protect her 5-year-old U.S. Citizen daughter Samantha. Since Griselda’s detention over a year ago, Samantha has been living with an abusive father who has cut contact between mother and child and refused to communicate news of Samantha to other family for nearly two months.
“Instead of releasing this mother who is desperate to protect her U.S. citizen child, ICE has decided to deceive and intimidate her,” said Sofia Casini, immigration organizer at Grassroots Leadership. “ICE has the power to release Griselda and must do so immediately.”
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Grassroots Leadership is an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation, and criminalization are things of the past. Follow us @Grassroots_News.