To: (1) The Director of the ICE-SLCFO, and (2) Utah members of U.S. Congress Orrin Hatch, Michael Lee, Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart, John Curtis, and Mia Love

Cancel the Deportation of Vicky Chavez! Let Her Stay in Salt Lake City, Utah

Cancel the Deportation of Vicky Chavez! Let Her Stay in Salt Lake City, Utah

(1) ICE should cancel Vicky Chavez's (A#206-760827) deportation order and continue granting her deferrals until Congress creates a means for her to get legal status.
(2) Utah members of Congress should sponsor a bill that expands and updates the Refugee Act of 1980 and the asylum reform measures of 1995. I urge them to broaden the definition of "credible fear" for asylum seekers coming to the U.S to include those at the mercy of non-state actors (e.g., gangs and cartels) and women with children fleeing cultures of unchecked and systemic domestic violence, who are some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

Why is this important?

With her first daughter, Vicky made the arduous journey from Honduras to the U.S. border in 2014, after receiving death threats in Honduras from her daughter’s father. After following the international process for asylum at the border, she has petitioned the U.S. government for asylum over and over, without ceasing, in order to win safety and legal residency in her new home, Utah, where the rest of her family lives. She has been fighting constantly to get legal asylum status, even while facing insufficient legal representation and an immigration court system that arbitrarily denies most asylum seekers.

Vicky has never given up. Her current lawyer has filed to reopen her asylum case. She has no criminal record. Vicky has reconnected and reunited with the rest of her immediate family here in Utah. She had a second, beautiful daughter in 2017, and her family and friends have given her unconditional love and support as she raises her family in her new community. But in 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) decided they couldn’t leave this mother in peace to raise her girls and gain permanent status in the U.S. They decided she just had to be deported.

If Vicky were sent back to Honduras, her life and the lives of her daughters would be in danger. So on January 30, 2018, mere hours before her flight to Honduras, she took sanctuary at First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Women with children should be a protected class for asylum. Like Vicky, victims of domestic violence in Honduras and similar countries have no recourse for getting relief; the Honduran government cannot or will not intervene against their abusers or the organized exploitation of women and children, which practically guarantees systemic endangerment of women and children.

Honduras is on the brink of civil war. Election fraud and lack of confidence in the legitimacy of the Honduran government have frayed its ability to provide basic services or protect its citizens from the local systems of control that have developed in the vacuum of a weak central government. The country's security force has gained power due to U.S. prosecution of the international war on drugs, has committed widespread human rights abuses, and has enabled the formation of warring gangs. Women and children can find no social safety in these circumstances.

The current U.S. standards for asylum are inadequate and need to be updated: they do not protect the lives of people who have been displaced from their countries of origin by non-state violence and violence exacerbated by U.S. foreign policy.

I ask that you please cancel Vicky's deportation order and enable her asylum application to be successful. She needs to raise her girls in peace and stability, unafraid, surrounded by her family and friends in Utah, where she belongs.

Con su primera hija, Vicky realizó el arduo viaje de Honduras a la frontera con Estados Unidos en 2014, luego de recibir amenazas de muerte en Honduras por parte del padre de su hija. Después de seguir el proceso internacional de asilo en la frontera, ella ha solicitado asilo al gobierno de los EE. UU. Una y otra vez, sin cesar, para ganar seguridad y residencia legal en su nuevo hogar, Utah, donde vive el resto de su familia. Ella ha estado luchando constantemente para obtener el estado de asilo legal, incluso cuando enfrenta una representación legal insuficiente y un sistema judicial de inmigración que arbitrariamente niega la mayoría de los solicitantes de asilo.

Vicky nunca se rindió. Su abogado actual ha presentado una solicitud para reabrir su caso de asilo. Ella no tiene antecedentes penales. Vicky se ha vuelto a conectar y se ha reunido con el resto de su familia inmediata aquí en Utah. Tuvo una segunda y hermosa hija en 2017, y su familia y amigos le han brindado su amor incondicional y apoyo mientras cría a su familia en su nueva comunidad. Pero en 2017, el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) decidió que no podían dejar a esta madre en paz para criar a sus hijas y obtener un estatus permanente en los EE. UU. Decidieron que solo tenía que ser deportada.

Si Vicky fuera enviada de vuelta a Honduras, su vida y la de sus hijas correrían peligro. Así que el 30 de enero de 2018, apenas unas horas antes de su vuelo a Honduras, tomó refugio en First Unitarian Church en Salt Lake City, Utah.

Las mujeres con niños deben ser una clase protegida para el asilo. Al igual que Vicky, las víctimas de violencia doméstica en Honduras y países similares no tienen ningún recurso para obtener alivio; el gobierno hondureño no puede o no va a intervenir contra sus abusadores o la explotación organizada de mujeres y niños, lo que prácticamente garantiza el peligro sistémico para las mujeres y los niños.

Honduras está al borde de la guerra civil. El fraude electoral y la falta de confianza en la legitimidad del gobierno hondureño han debilitado su capacidad para proporcionar servicios básicos o proteger a sus ciudadanos de los sistemas locales de control que se han desarrollado en el vacío de un gobierno central débil. La fuerza de seguridad del país ha ganado poder debido al enjuiciamiento de Estados Unidos de la guerra internacional contra las drogas, ha cometido abusos generalizados contra los derechos humanos y ha permitido la formación de pandillas en guerra. Las mujeres y los niños no pueden encontrar seguridad social en estas circunstancias.

Las actuales normas estadounidenses para el asilo son inadecuadas y deben actualizarse: no protegen la vida de las personas que han sido desplazadas de sus países de origen por la violencia no estatal y la violencia exacerbada por la política exterior de EE. UU.

Le pido que cancele la orden de deportación de Vicky y permita que su solicitud de asilo sea exitosa. Ella necesita criar a sus hijas en paz y estabilidad, sin miedo, rodeada de su familia y amigos en Utah, a donde pertenece.


Reasons for signing

  • Utah is well known for its promotion of family values. I call upon our leaders to continue to uphold those values by doing the humane thing and allowing this family to remain in Salt Lake City.
  • I don't believe in faith. I believe in doing good in the world.
  • Please help this poor family.

Updates

2018-07-09 19:04:17 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2018-05-11 11:33:27 -0400

500 signatures reached

2018-05-08 00:43:55 -0400

100 signatures reached

2018-05-07 20:16:20 -0400

50 signatures reached

2018-05-07 15:26:55 -0400

25 signatures reached

2018-05-07 12:43:22 -0400

10 signatures reached