Landlord Called Police on DACA-elegible Youth, ICE Wants To Deport Her This Thursday

Update: Brenda was deported to Mexico, despite efforts from the Salt Lake City Dream Team, DreamActivist.Org, United We Dream, and the Immigrant Youth Justice League. Thank you for your support for Brenda and her family. 



Brenda came to the U.S. when she was 6 years old. At the age of  15, she had her first child with a 24 year old man who was psychologically abusive. Now she is 22, married to the love of her life, and mother of 5 U.S. citizen children. She was in the process of registering for her GED classes and apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) when she was placed in deportation proceedings.

Immigration officials wont give her the chance to go before a judge, and say that she will be deported this Thursday April 4th. Sign the petition to stop her deportation here. 

Brenda is a young  mother living in Utah who has only worked to protect her children. She first was arrested when in order to avoid eviction, she turned to a pay-day lender, and applied using a made-up social security number. The office called the police, and she ended up pleading guilty to two misdemeanors. Because it was her first encounter with the criminal system, she was given 15 days of work diversion.

She had done 6-7 days of the community service when she had to take time off from the community service to move her belongings as she was being evicted. The officer overseeing her community service agreed. The day of her eviction, a Sheriff came to her home, and refused to listen to her story. When she went inside to show him her community service payments, he followed her in, and arrested her infront of her children.

Now in immigration detention, ICE refuses to let her see a judge, or release her from detention. When community advocates contacted ICE about her case, they responded that she was “ilegal alien with a felony.”

So even though her charges are of a misdemeanor in criminal court, for immigration immigration considers this misdemeanor offense an “aggravated felony.”

This is only possible after in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA), which expanded grounds of deportation to include a broad range of minor offenses. This makes it so that immigration can claim that an immigrant has a felony, even when the criminal charges are those of misdemeanors.

Brenda’s mother is reaching out to community organizations and immigrant rights advocates around the country to get support for her daughter, and her grandchildren.

In a recent call with Brenda’s mother, she told us that Brenda’s children cry every night, remembering the day that their mother was taken away in handcuffs.

Brenda qualifies for DACA, and if released she would enroll in GED classes and apply. ICE has the ability to stop her deportation and release her from detention by exercising discretion. USCIS can determine that she is DACA elegible, despite the misdemeanors. 

Please help us keep Brenda with her family. We know that it is important for ICE to hear from the community, and that this support is the only thing that will give her a chance to stay with her children and her family.

But signing the petition is not enough. Please take a moment to make a call and share the petition. 

1. Call ICE regional office for Utah, Todd McWhorter 801-886-7400
2. Call ICE Deputy Public Advocate, Mike Reid, 202-732-4262.
3. Call ICE Director John Morton, 202-732-3000 

Script: Hello, I am calling in support of Brenda Guzman Sandoval (A# 205-32-4759). She is a young woman who has been here since she was 6 years old, is the mother of 5 US citizen children, and was in the process of starting her GED when she was placed in deportation. She is not a threat to the country, and is only trying to provide for her children. Please use deferred action and close her deportation” 

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