EL PASO, Texas — A legal aid clinic operated by the El Paso Catholic Diocese said a woman who survived the Aug. 3, 2019 Cielo Vista Walmart mass shooting was deported to Juarez by federal authorities on Friday after being pulled over in a car for traffic violations.
The shooting victim, identified by Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services solely by the first name Rosa, was arrested by El Paso police on Wednesday and once at the downtown jail was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement who deported her to Mexico 48 hours later.
“Rosa has no criminal history other than two misdemeanor traffic citations that are over five years old,” said Sandra Ramirez, a diocese spokeswoman.
Ramirez indicated that Rosa, who is on the district attorney’s list as a witness when the case against the accused shooter goes to trial, has an application in process for a U visa – which is available to immigrant crime victims.
Attorney Anna Hey, who serves as the deputy director of the legal clinic, issued the below statement to the media late Friday afternoon expressing her dismay at what happened.
“Rosa is a survivor of one of the most horrific events to ever take place in El Paso. She came forward and presented herself to both El Paso police and FBI officials to give a statement of what she saw on that fateful day. The information she has was sufficient for the District Attorney’s office to issue a certification that she has been helpful in the investigation. Despite having told this to the ICE officials who made the decision to deport her based on a years old deportation order, ICE officials in El Paso chose to remove her from the US, leaving her unsupported in Juarez. This decision amounts to a re-victimization of this young lady, who only came forward to help build the case against the shooter in the racist attack.”
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