SALT LAKE CITY — Silvia Avelar-Flores, a mother of three who was arrested by ICE and faced deportation, was released from the Cache County Jail after being granted a temporary stay Thursday.
According to ICE, the stay of deportation allows Flores 30 days to give ICE officers an itinerary for her departure and a total of 90 days to leave the United States.
Flores was arrested by ICE April 28 outside a craft store, and her family said she was shopping for birthday party supplies at the time.
“Avelar-Flores was issued final orders of removal from a federal immigration judge in 1995,” an ICE spokesman stated in an email Thursday. “This removal order was upheld by the Board of Immigration Appeals in 1997. She has been under final orders of removal for about 20 years.”
Mormon Women for Ethical Government organized a protest Wednesday calling for Flores’ release, and they issued this statement Thursday ahead of Flores’ anticipated reunion with her family.
“We are overjoyed at the news that Silvia is being released and will be reunited with her family tonight,” stated Sharlee Mullins Glenn, founder of Mormon Women for Ethical Government. “Decency, compassion, and, yes, justice triumphed today.”
Salt Lake Indivisible, who was also involved in the effort to secure Flores’ release, issued this statement from Judi Hilman.
“Tonight we celebrate and rest for the hard work still to be done for families like Silvia’s who are still at high risk for deportation, given the administration’s “changed priorities” on immigration. What today’s outcome shows. Is the power of coalition and what can happen when people ‘with beating hearts’ take action as a community. “The current policy priorities leave far too much discretion to local ICE officers. It reminds us of the need for comprehensive immigration reform that respects the integrity of families.”
Silvia’s husband, Carlos Juarez, insisted that his wife had work visas and is married to him. Juarez is a legal permanent resident.
In a statement to FOX 13 on Wednesday, ICE said Flores entered the U.S. in 1993 on a visitor for pleasure visa in 1993, but overstayed her term. In 1995, she was granted a “voluntary departure” to Mexico. In 1997, the agency said, she had lost an appeal of a judge’s order of final removal.