A project of the Center for Community Change

Brooklyn mom’s tears of joy as deportation case shelved

A Brooklyn mom who failed three times to get the feds to cancel her deportation finally has won a reprieve — and she broke down in tears when she found out.

“We were crying,” Sara Martinez of Sunset Park said Sunday, a week after the Daily News wrote about her plight.

The 47-year-old Ecuadoran house cleaner, whose 6-year-old daughter was born here, was ordered to leave the country after border agents detained her on a bus from Rochester to the city.

She was hoping the government would cut her a break after President Obama announced he wanted to focus on deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records.

The feds are closing about 7% of the 300,000 deportation cases under review, but Martinez had been told that even though she has a clean record, hers was not among them.

Immigration advocates said her case highlighted Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s uneven hand in applying Obama’s new policy.

After her appeals to ICE were denied three times, she got the good news on Friday.

“I’m just doing what any mom would do for her children,” she said. “There are thousands of others out there with my story.”

She said she stayed in the U.S. after coming here in 2005 so her daughter could get a good education. She described the threat of deportation as a “nightmare.”

In the city, barely more than 207 cases under review have been closed.

“We remain concerned,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn). “It took months and a massive campaign for ICE to follow its own rules. Cases like Sara’s are too common.”

Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said Martinez could have become one of “many senseless deportations that have been ripping our community apart.”

This was originally published by the New York Daily News.

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