Judge reopens case of 11-year-old girl facing deportation to El Salvador

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HOUSTON — A judge has reopened the case of an 11-year-old girl facing possible deportation from Houston to El Salvador alone, without the company of her mother or sisters.

Laura Maradiago and her family have been stateside for a little less than a year after escaping violence in El Salvador. The girl's father and other kin were murdered there.

FIEL, a local immigration rights organization, said Laura received a deportation notice because of a mistake in the court system. The family has reportedly been to all of their court appearances, however, one recent appearance was rescheduled because of the government shutdown.

Immigration attorney Silvia Mintz said the family has done its due diligence and the whole ordeal is because of a clerical error that reflects a larger problem in the country's immigration process.

"It happens because the immigration courts are overloaded," Mintz said during a press conference Tuesday. " They have so many cases [that] judges, according to some studies, have two minutes per case. Who can get due process in two minutes in front of the court?"

Laura, her family, her attorney and the folks from FIEL are expected to hold a press conference 11 a.m. Wednesday to discuss the next steps in this case.

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