Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Yanelli Hernandez has been deported. She was a DREAMer, 22 years old, suffering from severe depression. She had minor convictions for forgery and DUI. Deportation is not the answer for such a person. Counseling and treatment would have been the right course. She should have been granted deferred action under the Morton memo guidelines on prosecutorial discretion. Yanelli's deportation is truly an injustice.
Jorge Rivas writes for Colorlines:
Earlier today I wrote about the efforts of DREAMers across the United States to keep Yanelli Hernandez in the country because she’s tried to commit suicide twice. On Tuesday afternoon sources close to the 22-year-old confirmed she was in Mexico.
ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls:
"Yanelli HERNANDEZ-Serrano was removed to her native country, Mexico, today in accordance with a final order of removal from an immigration judge. ICE has adopted common sense policies that ensure our immigration laws are enforced in a way that best enhances public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system. As part of this approach, ICE has adopted clear priorities that call for the agency’s enforcement resources to be focused on the identification and removal of those that have broken criminal laws, recently crossed our border, repeatedly violated immigration law or are fugitives from immigration court."
In a letter to attorney Jorge Martinez, ICE Detroit field office director Rebecca J. Adducci wrote, “Your request is denied. The basis of this request is that your client cannot depart from the United States due to hardships she will face stamming from longstanding mental illness. You have provided no documentation to support this claim.”
“The removal of individuals with final orders of removal, as well as criminal aliens, is an ICE civil immigration enforcement priority. Ms. Hernandez was never lawfully present in the United States,” Adducci went on to write in the letter.
“An order of removal was entered in Ms. Hernandez’s case by the immigration judge on Jan. 25, 2012, at her request. Thus she is subject to a final order of removal. Further, Ms. Hernandez is a convicted criminal as she has convictions for forgery and driving under the influence.”
Immigrant youth around the country are holding vigils as part of “Undocumented Youth Mental Health Day” in response to Hernandez’s deportation order.
The National Immigrant Youth Alliance, which organized the nationwide vigils, also have plans to launch a 24-hr hotline in the future so that undocumented youth can reach out to fellow young immigrants. The plan is for the newly launched website, undocuhealth.org, to be a resource, and a way to address the very real mental health issues that come along with being young and undocumented.