Stamford mother who refused order to return to Guatemala granted stay

STAMFORD — A Connecticut woman who was ordered to return to her native Guatemala has been granted a stay of her deportation order.

An attorney for Miriam Martinez-Lemus said Wednesday an immigration judge granted an emergency stay of removal so a motion can be filed in the case. Martinez-Lemus won’t face deportation until the appeal is heard.

The mother of two had been denied a stay of deportation on Monday. She was ordered to board a plane bound for Guatemala, but instead went to her Stamford home.

Martinez-Lemus left the country 25 years ago during violent political unrest.

Her daughters are U.S. citizens. The family says one daughter requires constant care for Type 1 diabetes.

Martinez-Lemus tells The Hartford Courant she feels “stronger now because I am doing something to remain with my daughters.”

Governor Dannel P. Malloy released a statement on ICE’s decision:

Today, reason and compassion prevailed and I applaud this decision by ICE to allow her to remain in the United States with her family, where she has lived for several decades.  I am glad that we could work with federal and local officials and advocates to achieve this outcome.

Rather than focusing on people living peacefully within our borders, our attention should be on those who do harm to others.  I want to acknowledge those at ICE who listened to our pleas for compassion who understand that families should not be torn apart, vulnerable children who are U.S. citizens should not be put at risk, and that law-abiding, hardworking and decent people should receive the benefit of the doubt in matters like these.

I also thank the courageous medical professionals at Yale New Haven Hospital who have continued to provide care to Miriam’s 12-year-old daughter, and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of her legal counsel Glenn Formica.

***Associated Press contributed to this report***