The stay a Stamford mother asked for to avoid being deported to Guatemala has been denied, according to her attorney.
Miriam Martinez-Lemus, a mother of two, was supposed to leave at 3 p.m. today and will not hide, according to her attorney.
She instead went home to care for her daughter, who has Type 1 juvenile diabetes, instead of boarding a plane Monday afternoon.
"I cannot leave with my daughter. I cannot leave my daughter here," Martinez-Lemus said. Her 12-year-old daughter, Brianna, has Type 1 juvenile diabetes, a condition that needs constant monitoring, and the mother said Brianna would not be able to get the medicine she needs in Guatemala.
Martinez-Lemus sought asylum in the United State in 1992 after political unrest in her native country in the 1970s and 1980s. She has no criminal record, according to her attorney, Glenn Formica, of Formica Williams, P.C.
On Monday morning, she turned herself in to officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New Haven to be incarcerated Monday while other legal opportunities are explored and her stay was denied. By afternoon, the stay was denied and Martinez-Lemus is supposed to leave the country at 3 p.m.
While Martinez-Lemus will not hide from immigration officials, she did not plan to get on a plane at 3 p.m., Formica said.
“I’ve met with Miriam and Raphael (her husband), we talked about what this means. She is now obligated to board a plane at 3 o’clock (p.m.) At 3 o’clock, her daughter will be coming home from school and getting off the bus. Her daughter has Type 1 diabetes. The first thing they will do is check her insulin levels, as they will check her insulin levels regularly for the rest of the day and into the night,” Attorney Glenn Formica, of Formica Williams, P.C. said.
He said Brianna’s diabetes is a serious disease that requires two parents.
Brianna and her younger sister are both American citizens.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said Brianna needs the help of her mother and father as a team.
“I plead with ICE to allow for sufficient time for other avenues to be explored. Keep this family together, keep this young girl, a student in the Stamford school system, healthy and safe while the legal matters get worked out,” Malloy said.
He added that the American people did not ask for what is happening here to take place.
“I have been previously, even in this last 12 months, with the president of the United States saying he was only going to go after the ‘bad hombres,’ people who had done something terribly wrong. That is not the situation here,” Malloy said.
Dr. Stuart Weinzimer, of the Child Diabetes Program at the Yale School of Medicine, attended the news conference about the deportation order and described the difference between diabetes adults deal with and juvenile diabetes.
“It is a life-threatening condition in which the person is no longer able to make their own insulin,” he said.
Treatment requires “a tremendous amount of attention” that takes months, if not years, to learn, including checking blood sugar an average of 10 to 12 times per day, multiple injections of insulin daily, or use of an insulin pump, which must also be managed.
Every day also requires constant decisions, including how much insulin is needed, calculations of carbohydrates, the amount of physical activity the child does and more.
‘Her mother has born the brunt of taking care of her and she’s done very well, and it is all at risk if all of that good caretaking is put in jeopardy,” Weinzimer said.
Formica said what Immigration and Customs Enforcement is asking his client to do is leave, go to Guatemala and abandon her child.
"Mariam is not going to go into a church basement. Miriam is not going to hide from ICE. She has an electronic ankle bracelet. ICE knows where she is," Formica said.
He added that he understands that the bracelet has a two-way radio and ICE can listen if they want to.
"Miriam's going to go home today and get her daughter off the bus. She is going to make her dinner. If ICE wants to come and get her, they know exactly where she is," Formica said. "While they're deciding whether they want to take a mother from a sick child, whether they want to expose that child to that kind of risk is ICE's decision," Formica said. "They have said that she cannot stay and I am saying she cannot go."
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said he is working with Martinez-Lemus’ attorney.
“I am working with Miriam Martinez’s attorney to fight this cruel and irrational deportation. Deporting Miriam will rip apart her family, needlessly leaving a child with serious medical needs without her mother. I urge the Trump Administration not to inflict this needless pain and allow Miriam to remain here with her family where she belongs. This latest decision is yet another symptom of an immigration system that has lost all reason and rationality. I will continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform to bring lasting change to this badly broken system.”
U.S. Department of Homeland Security U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement about the case.
“Miriam Martinez-Lemus is (a)citizen of Guatemala. A federal immigration judge granted her voluntary departure in 2002, but she failed to leave the U.S. as instructed and that order automatically changed to a final order of removal.
“In a measure of discretion, ICE did not place her in custody, but entered her into an Alternatives to Detention program, and she has been checking in periodically at an ICE office. She was asked to provide proof she intends to leave the U.S., in compliance with the court’s order, which she has done. Should she fail to depart as instructed, she will be listed as an immigration fugitive and arrested when encountered, and then ICE will carry out her removal order.”
“As an issue of operational security, ICE will not publicly discuss specific removal dates or times for any individual until after the removal has been completed.”