Published On: Thu, Oct 12th, 2017

Immigrant built a life, a family in the US for 17 years. Now she’s being deported.

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Norma Contreras dutifully reported Sept. 21 to Charlotte’s office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which ICE required the undocumented immigrant to do as she fought to stay in the U.S.

Contreras’ minister husband and her three children, a Charlotte family for 17 years, haven’t seen her since. Contreras is being held in Georgia awaiting deportation to her native Honduras.

That a woman with a work permit, clean criminal record and community support could be uprooted without warning is among the starkest examples of changes to federal immigration policy under President Donald Trump.

Under former President Barack Obama, immigrants like Contreras, who had been previously deported in 2009 but had no criminal record, could typically stay. Under Trump, who promised to swiftly deport “bad hombres,” that exemption vanished.

Since Trump took office, 89 percent of ICE administrative arrests nationally have been of people who have been convicted or charged with crimes.

Norma Contreras, far right, with her sons Joel Portillo Jr. and Reynieri Portillo, daughter Yerlin Portillo and husband Joel S. Portillo. Courtesy of Yerlin Portillo

Norma Contreras, far right, with her sons Joel Portillo Jr. and Reynieri Portillo, daughter Yerlin Portillo and husband Joel S. Portillo. Courtesy of Yerlin Portillo


Norma Contreras – whom ICE lists as Elena Contreras-Duarte – falls among the remaining 11 percent. Data for the Carolinas and Georgia show that non-criminal ICE arrests have increased under Trump.

For the first three quarters of the 2017 fiscal year, including Trump’s first five months in office, non-criminal arrests were 30 percent of the 9,394 total cases in the three states. Such arrests in the two previous years were 12 percent and 10 percent of the totals.

Click here for full article on The Charlotte Observer

Source: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article178285666.html

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