Maui woman facing deportation to Mexico gets temporary reprieve
A 33-year old Maui woman facing deportation to Mexico turned herself in to immigration officials Tuesday morning. Her attorney says her client is a domestic abuse victim and fears being returned to Mexico.
HONOLULU - The Department of Homeland Security issued the deportation notice last month. It ordered Tania Venegas to turn herself in by 11 a.m. Tuesday.
The 33-year old Kahului resident came here on a legal visa in 2006 and never left. She is originally from Senora, Mexico and cleans houses for a living.
"Her case at the Board of Immigration Appeals and we have a pending motion of a stay of importation and a motion to reconsider and reopen her case. She has a fear of returning to Mexico because of threats received years ago," said immigration attorney Clare Hanusz.
Venegas applied for asylum fearful that Senora was not safe for her anymore, at the same time she hopeful for a better future for her children ages 5, 8, and 15 -- all U.S. born.
"More opportunity for me and my family," said Tania Venegas.
Hanusz said Venegas has no criminal record, isn’t a flight risk, and has dutifully reported in regularly to authorities since her case was started 2008. So, it was unsettling to receive the deportation order in the mail.
"It's been heartbreaking for so many years and not knowing what is going to happen and having family it’s hard because they expect you to know everything and we are just in the limbo," said Zuzeth Venegas, who is Tania’s sister.
Hanusz said the fear in the immigrant community is at an all-time high because of the immigration policies of the Trump administration. About two dozen people showed up in support of an immigrant mother in need.
"It was quite distressing to know this woman has three minor children who could be badly affected by deportation," said Honolulu resident Martha Nakajima.
Many stuck around to hear the news that Venegas would be allowed to return to Maui for now.
"We have good news ICE --- Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- has agreed to release Tania on a $5,000 bond," applause,” said Hanusz.
"I am pretty happy my mother is going to come home us," said Edgard Venegas.
He said his siblings are too young to understand what’s going on. Venegas struggles to deal with the uncertainty that his mother may walk out of their home and never come back. The 15-year-old is relieved today, but understandably still nervous.
"We know she is going to come back in another six months, but we don't know what's going to happen there," Venegas said,
Edgart Venegas, growing up fast knowing he has choices, but his mother, who is in the country illegally, doesn't.