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National Immigration Project Joins National Campaign Calling on Biden Administration To Provide Unjustly Deported Immigrants A Chance To Come Home

Issue area
Children and Families
Posted: Jun. 1, 2023

For Immediate Release
June 1, 2023

Arianna Rosales,

Washington, D.C. —The National Immigration Project joined a new national campaign today calling on the Biden administration to create a centralized process for people who have been unjustly deported to seek return to the United States. 

In partnership with the National Immigrant Justice Center, the National Immigration Project is lifting up the cases of 10 people who have been unjustly deported from the United States, including two National Immigration Project clients Tina Hamdi (Ohio) and Vanessa Vaquiz Mendoza (North Carolina), who were deported and torn from their children, families, and communities.

“The current deportation system–which permanently separates families and breaks up communities as a result of a person’s contact with the criminal legal system–is fundamentally unjust,” said Ann Garcia, Staff Attorney at the National Immigration Project. “DHS has the power to exercise its discretion to remedy these wrongs by returning unjustly deported persons to the United States and it should exercise this power. We urge DHS to exercise its discretion and grant our clients’ applications for humanitarian parole and allow both individuals to return to the United States and reunite with their families.” 

Our client Boutayna “Tina” Hamdi was a DACA recipient who lived in Ohio for 20 years before ICE deported her based on a single conviction resulting from domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of her then-husband. Deportation separated her from her two young children, for whom she was the sole caregiver, and stranded her in a country where she had not stepped foot since she was three years old. She has applied for humanitarian parole to return to the United States and regain custody of her two children. 

Our client Vanessa Vaquiz Mendoza was also deported from the United States after living here for 20 years. She grew up in North Carolina and was raising three children while coping with harrowing domestic violence when she was arrested following a shoplifting incident. ICE detained her and transferred her to the Irwin County Detention Facility, where she was medically abused. Vanessa’s oldest child, Jason, experiences significant physical disability as a result of Pompe Disease, a rare disorder that causes weakening of organs and tissues and requires him to use a wheelchair. Vanessa won a motion to reopen before the immigration court and has petitioned DHS for humanitarian parole. 

A new campaign website features the stories of Tina and Vanessa and eight other people who joined in the Chance to Come Home campaign in hopes of accelerating their requests to reunite with their loved ones.

The Chance to Come Home campaign urges the Biden administration to use legal mechanisms already available under immigration law to redress the harms families and communities throughout the United States have suffered as a result of unfair immigration laws that perpetuate racial profiling and unjust punishments for immigrants which permanently separate families and in many cases deport people to places where their lives are in danger. The campaign’s proposals originate from a white paper NIJC released in 2021.