In the face of intense community opposition, immigration officials are vowing to push ahead with plans to deport a 20-year Ann Arbor, Michigan, resident.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has ordered Lourdes Salazar-Bautista, 49, to leave the country by August 2. The local community and elected officials have rallied in support of the mother of three, but ICE spokesperson Khaalid Walls told The Intercept that the agency will not back down.
“In a current exercise of discretion, the agency has allowed her to remain free from custody while timely finalizing her departure plans,” Walls wrote in a statement. “ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. However, as Secretary Kelly has made clear, ICE will not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”
The Mexican native says she’s not done fighting.
“I’m not a threat to this country,” said Salazar-Bautista, choking back her tears during a vigil at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor on Tuesday evening, broadcast on Facebook live. “I want to have a chance to continue guiding [my children] and educating them so they can reach the future, since I come from a very humble environment, I wasn’t able to reach.”