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Advocates: Girl, 11, has deportation case reopened

April 17, 2019

HOUSTON (AP) — Family members and advocates for an 11-year-old Salvadoran girl living in Houston say they have won a reprieve from a deportation they say was due to an apparent paperwork error.

In a statement Tuesday, advocates for Laura Maradiaga say their motion to reopen the girl’s deportation case has been granted and her deportation order set aside.

The girl had been issued a removal order after allegedly missing a court appearance in March. Her attorney, Silvia Mintz, blamed a communication error that led to the missed court appearance and asked the court to reopen the case.

Laura, her sister, and her mother, Dona Alvarado, crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in October and sought asylum. The deportation order threatened to separate Laura from her sister and mother and force her return to a country they said they fled because a relative testified against a local gang member.