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Latino Daily News

Thursday May 2, 2013

North Carolina to Deport Community Activist After Traffic Violation

North Carolina to Deport Community Activist After Traffic Violation

Photo: Fabiana Palomo Muñiz

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has decided to deport a community activist and coordinator of a Catholic youth group in North Carolina after her arrest on a minor traffic violation.

ICE spokesman Vincent Picard confirmed on Wednesday to Efe that Mexican Fabiana Palomo Muñiz “does not quality for procedural discretion due to a previous deportation in 2003 and (her) illegal reentry into the country, which constitutes a federal crime.”

On April 9, Palomo Muñiz, who has lived in the city of Durham for eight years, was arrested in Wake County after she left the scene of a minor traffic accident in which she had been involved.

Palomo Muñiz, the coordinator of the Hispanic Youth Ministry at the Immaculate Conception Church, was driving that day to a parish event.

According to what Gustavo Peña, the immigrant’s husband, told the media, she did not understand the instructions given her by police because she does not speak English and she was fined and arrested for not having a driver’s license and for resisting arrest.

After the incident, she was transferred to the county jail, where she was identified as undocumented under the 287(g) program and placed in the deportation category.

Although the state’s charges were thrown out last week, ICE said that soon it will transfer the woman to an immigration detention center in preparation for her later deportation.

On Monday, a vigil in support of Palomo Muñiz was held at the Immaculate Conception Church, where dozens of friends and acquaintances called for her release.

Viridiana Martinez, the founder of NC Dream Team, which organized a campaign to place telephone calls to the ICE offices and to the Wake County jail to prevent the deportation, explained Wednesday to Efe that they are not “giving up.”