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Congressman Darren Soto

Representing the 9th District of Florida

Soto Leads Multi-member Letter to Pres. Trump, DOD, DHS, Requesting Stay of Removal for Military Wife Alejandra Juarez

August 2, 2018
Press Release

Kissimmee, FL –  Today, the Florida office of the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) handling the Juarez family’s case, refused to return Alejandra’s passport and travel documentation back to her ahead of her deportation travels set for tomorrow (August 3rd). Mrs. Juarez is a Polk County-area mother of two U.S.-born daughters and U.S. veteran spouse who has lived in Central Florida for over 20 years. U.S. Congressman Darren Soto led bipartisan letters addressed to President Trump, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, requesting ICE grant Alejandra Juarez a stay of removal.

Said Rep. Darren Soto: “This is not the end of the fight for the Juarez family. Just today, ICE adds insult to injury by denying to give Alejandra her travel documents before her deportation tomorrow, a date set by ICE themselves. Yet another example of the lack of empathy by this agency. Unfortunately, the decision to keep the Juarez family together falls on the Trump administration. As a last effort before Alejandra’s deportation date tomorrow, we sent bipartisan letters signed by 9 Members of Congress to President Trump, Secretaries Nielsen and Mattis urging to grant Alejandra a stay of removal.

“If the president really claims to support veterans, he should stand with the Juarez family and reconsider Alejandra’s deportation. While Mr. Juarez was abroad fighting to defend our country, Mrs. Juarez was at home raising his daughters, serving in the same manner as military spouses do across our nation. This sends a terrible message to our military that the government they are defending will deport their spouses on the home front. I will continue to support the Juarez family through this difficult situation and continue the fight against the Trump administration’s heartless immigration policies tearing families apart.”

Background: Rep. Soto introduced legislation in support of the Juarez family which has garnered national attention and support from immigration activists and the Central Florida community. Alejandra has been living with an expedited order of removal from her entry to the U.S. 20 years ago - but she has no criminal record, is married to an Iraq veteran who deployed with the Florida National Guard, is the mother of two U.S. citizen girls ages 8 and 16, and is an active member of her church in Davenport, Florida. The Juarez family settled in Central Florida and Mr. Juarez  now runs a flooring business and often travels for work to support the family. While Alejandra was previously a low- or non-priority for deportation, the new enforcement mandate under the Trump Administration which eliminated deportation priorities has resulted in Alejandra being slated for deportation.