At least, it’s supposed to.
But that wasn’t the case for Lesly Sophia Cortez-Martinez, a 32-year-old mother of three U.S.-born children. She’d been living in the U.S. since she was 15 years old and had been approved for relief under DACA.
Cortez-Martinez was deported to Mexico after a visit there, despite the fact that she had prior approval to return to the U.S. after her trip. She applied for permission under an “advance parole” program, which allows undocumented immigrants to return to their native countries without sacrificing their DACA protection last year, and the agency granted it – but when she returned, authorities insisted that she was no longer eligible for protection.
Because Cortez-Martinez faced a deportation order in 2004, before she was eligible for protection under DACA, authorities cited that 12-year-old order to send her and two of her three children packing as soon as she landed at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
It’s worth noting that all of Cortez-Martinez’s children are U.S. citizens who were born in the States.
Now that she’s been officially deported, she’s no longer eligible for the DACA program – and as of now, there’s no legal recourse for her. Authorities say they’ll allow her to return, but they’re now questioning her work authorization.
What to Do if You’re Facing Deportation
Whether or not you’re protected under DACA, you should get in touch with a Milwaukee immigration attorney if you’re facing deportation. Your attorney may be able to help you so you’re allowed to stay put, whether it’s temporarily or permanently.
If you need help securing U.S. citizenship, our Milwaukee immigration lawyers will evaluate your case and come up with a strategy to help you.