Stop the Raids: Kimberly’s Story

After more than 10 weeks of detention, an immigration judge granted Kimberly Pineda Chavez, a 10th grade student at Collins Hill High School, her freedom. Kimberly had been separated from her Atlanta family and friends since January 27, 2016, when ICE arrested her in a raid on her way to school.


Kimberly and her younger sister fled Honduras together, after gangs called on the phone and threatened to rape them, and after corrupt police broke into their home, held them at gunpoint, and took their stepfather for ransom.

Kimberly and her sister crossed the more than thousand miles from Honduras to America by themselves and now live with their mother and other siblings in a strong and supportive community. But instead of getting a real chance to make their case, they were victimized by an incompetent lawyer who did not even ask if they were afraid to go home, let alone file an asylum application. Now Kimberly and her sister have a removal order-and the lawyer has a Georgia State Bar Association complaint.

On the morning of January 27, 2016, Kimberly and her little sister were getting a ride to school from their aunt when ICE pulled them over. ICE knew that they were on their way to school but they arrested Kimberly anyway. They lied to Kimberly and told her they just needed to her to review and sign some paperwork. Kimberly got out of the car, still holding her book bag.

Kimberly celebrated her 19th birthday in Irwin County Detention Center. Despite multiple appeals for prosecutorial discretion-and more than *25,000 signatures* on the petition for her release - ICE never did the right thing. Even after the immigration judge granted her stay of deportation, even after the immigration judge reopened her case because she never had a chance to present her asylum claim, and even after the judge gave Kimberly a $1,500 bond-the lowest amount that can be set-ICE refused release, saying they wanted to appeal the order!

No family should have to go through what Kimberly's family went through: Tell President Obama to #StopTheRaids.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 16030302.