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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

San Francisco Immigrant Community to Protest Deportation of Alleged Rape Victim

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 2:08 PM

click to enlarge CHANGE.ORG ALEJANDRA'S WISH
  • Change.org Alejandra's Wish
We've all missed a deadline, but how many of those missed appointments meant the difference between a life of refuge and a life of fear? That's what it has meant to Blanca Medina, an El Salvadorian woman currently classified as a fugitive after she missed her immigration court hearing.

Medina had a 180-day window to apply for asylum but, according to her attorney, Matthew Muller, she missed her hearing to apply due to psychological trauma caused by five alleged rapes that took place in her native country.

The news of her pending deportation has riled up the immigrant community in San Francisco, which plans to hold a protest to show support for her.

Be prepared to see waves of white ribbons and picket signs tomorrow afternoon near the ICE Field Office in the Financial District where Muller will lead a protest against Medina's deportation. He and his followers plan on marching up to Field Office Director Timothy Atiken's office to deliver more than 118,000 petition signatures.

In addition to the protest, Muller will also announce a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, which he justifies clearly in the petition:

Under Immigration and Customs Enforcement rules, the agency is free to ignore even conclusive proof that a person would suffer slow death by torture if deported, based on a procedural rule. This "willful blindness" policy could be ended through simple procedural changes by the Department of Homeland Security.

According to Muller, Medina came to the United States to escape the sexual abuse she was suffering in El Salvador. None of the alleged rapists have been arrested, he said. She now has a 4-year-old daughter, Alejandra, after whom Muller named his petition -- Alejandras' Wish.

According to the petition, which can be found on Change.org:

Blanca told ICE that she and Alejandra faced severe harm if deported. She asked for permission to at least explain how she and her daughter could be persecuted. ICE used a strange procedural rule to assert that it simply did not have to listen. Until the procedure is fixed, Blanca (and thousands of moms like her) face deportation with no hope of finding protection from persecution or torture.

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Suzanne Stathatos

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