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Los Angeles Times
August 10, 2017

Immigration appeals court throws out deportation order for man detained by ICE after dropping daughter off at school
By Andrea Castillo

In late March, Avelica-Gonzalez and his wife, Norma, submitted applications for U visas, which are available to victims of crime and their immediate family members, based on a crime that Norma was the victim of in December 2016. Diamante declined to provide details about the crime out of respect for the family and any further investigation. The number of people with pending U visa applications has skyrocketed from 21,000 in 2009 to nearly 170,000 as of March. Congress has set a cap of granting 10,000 U visas each year. Applicants on the waiting list are granted deferrals of their deportation and allowed to apply for work permits. Diamante said he would ask an immigration judge to temporarily stop Avelica-Gonzalezís deportation proceedings while his U visa application remains pending. If the judge decides not to stop the deportation proceedings, Diamante said, the court will again take up his request for cancellation of removal. If the judge again denies the cancellation, the court could issue another deportation order. Regardless, Diamante said, any decision could take years. The backlog of cases pending at immigration courts around the U.S. topped 610,000 in June, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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