Alamogordo Mother Seeks Protection from Deportation at Holy Cross Retreat Center

November 3, 2017

Mother and her 8 year-old daughter to speak for the first time at Prayer Vigil on Monday, November 6 at 6pm

Las Cruces, NM – An Alamogordo mother sought refuge at the Franciscan-run Holy Cross Retreat Center on Sunday, October 15, 2017, one day day before Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was set to deport her.

Martha Lorena Rivera has been living in Alamogordo, NM since 2002. She is a self-employed mother of three: an 8-year-old, U.S.-born daughter;  a 22-year-old daughter who is a DACA recipient and student at the University of New Mexico; and a 25-year-old son who recently became a U.S. citizen. Rivera is also a grandmother of two. She is a long-time parishioner of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Alamogordo, and an active member of the Alamogordo, New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) chapter.

Since 2011, Rivera has been working with her attorney to be granted a stay of removal and temporary relief enabling her to remain with her children. A stay of removal is a temporary postponement which prevents the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from carrying out an order of removal. That same year, Rivera had an encounter with Alamogordo Police after her two older children were in a car accident. The police officer on the scene learned of her immigration status and called ICE.

On Tuesday, October 10, Rivera reported for her annual meeting with ICE to renew her stay of removal. She has met her requirements every year – but this year, without reason or explanation, her ICE field agent denied Martha’s application. She was told she would be deported to Mexico that same day; however, since Rivera had not made any arrangements for her 8-year-old daughter, her agent allowed her to return home and placed an ankle monitor on her. She was told to report that following Monday for her deportation.

Who: NM Comunidades en Acción y de Fé (CAFé)

What: Prayer vigil in support of Martha Lorena Rivera to demand she be re-granted a stay of removal

When: Monday, November 6 at 6p.m.

Where: Holy Cross Retreat Center (600 Holy Cross Rd, Las Cruces, NM 88005)

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