#Not1More Deportation

Support Sarah, Salvadoran Queer Woman at Risk of Deportation

SarahWhen Sarah came out to her family, they reacted by kicking her out of the house. Estranged from her home, she missed a date for court that resulted in a deportation order in absentia she didn’t find out about until this year.

At age 19, she and her whole family were stopped at the border when they came to the US and released to apply for protective status.

After being kicked out of her home, she set out on her own and eventually found her loving partner of six years, Ondina, whose family fully accepted and loves them both. They were starting to talk about getting married. But during a visit to friends in California, they were separated when they parked in a bicycle parking spot.  When a police officer approached, instead of just asking to move the car, he asked for ID and took Sarah into custody based on the 13 year old deportation order and a previous time being charged years ago with a DUI that resulted in nothing more than a warning.

She has nothing in her past that should mark her as a priority for deportation and she should be released immediately.  Now Unidad Latina en Acción in New Jersey is fighting her case. If she is deported, she would be forced to choose between being separated from her partner or Ondina, a citizen of the US, moving to El Salvador where both fear attacks on same-sex partners and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

UPDATE: On December 18, 2014 Sarah’s attorney was told that she would be released within a day. This was a complete reversal of the New Orleans ICE office’s previous decision just two days before. The change came after local and national immigrant rights and LGBTQ rights organizations escalated advocacy on Sarah’s behalf and requested that the Field Office’s decision be reviewed.

UPDATE: On December 16, 2014 the New Orleans ICE Office denied Sarah her petition to stop her deportation. We have asked for a review of the decision. Please sign below and make a call to make sure we can keep Sarah and Ondina together.

Click here to see e-mail to ICE office

Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Department of Homeland Security

I am writing as a member of the community in support of Ms. Sarah Nohemi Bermudes, a Salvadoran woman currently detained in Louisiana under your jurisdiction. It has come to my attention that Ms. Bermudes was recently denied a stay of removal by the New Orleans ICE office. I write in full support of a review of that decision, and to urge you to decide in her favor to stop her deportation and keep her family together.

Ms. Bermudes has lived in the United States since she was 19 years old, for the last 13 years, she has been in a committed relationship with her partner of 6 years, who is a U.S. citizen. They recently became engaged. She also fears being deported to El Salvador, due to the violence against recent deportees as well as known violence against the LGBT community.

Ms. Bermudes has a driving infraction involving driving under the influence from 7 years ago, but has shown that she is a responsible person and an important member of the community. She also has a 13 year old order of removal. Given the support from the public, and the equities in Ms. Bermudes’ favor, I submit that she should not be considered priority for deportation and ask that you review the decision of the New Orleans ICE office. detention.

Thank you,