Local News

Raleigh woman detained by ICE, husband given self-deportation orders

Posted May 7

— A Raleigh woman who was in the process of gaining legal immigration status has been detained and told her whole family may have to return to Honduras.

Every six months for the past three years, David Ramirez and his wife, Cindy, traveled to Charlotte to continue their visa application process.

“We go, they just sign a paper, and then you go home,” Ramirez said.

Last week, the couple headed to Charlotte again, expecting the same routine, but this time his wife was detained.

Ramirez would have been detained too, he said, if not for his two daughters, who are U.S. citizens. Instead, he was allowed to leave, but given self-deportation orders.

“It’s like the 17th of June that I got to leave the country. I got to go to Charlotte with a ticket in hand,” he said.

Ramirez came to the United States 13 years ago from Honduras, where he said life was tough living with his father and five siblings.

“There was a time that there was no food in the house. There was nothing to eat because he was putting all of his money into our education,” he said.

Once Ramirez arrived in the United States, getting legal status wasn’t as easy as he anticipated. He said he laid low until four years ago, when he started the visa application process.

“It’s not just showing up to immigration and saying ‘hey, I want a permit. I want a work permit. I want to work,’” he said.

Ramirez thought he was doing the right thing and taking all the proper steps, but now he and his wife are unsure what is in store for the future.

“I just could not believe that a family like this would show up for their appointed immigration hearing and then be put in handcuffs before their kids,” a friend said

The Ramirez’s church family is rallying around them, raising money and reaching out to elected officials in the hopes that they can turn the situation around.

“My wife and I, we have been very active in the community and we just want to be part of it,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said he and his wife were applying for a U Visa- a non-immigrant visa set aside for victims of crimes who are willing to help law enforcement officials in the investigation of the crime.

ICE said they legally cannot release any information about anybody with a pending U Visa application.


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  • Geri Bickers May 24, 8:31 p.m.
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    I am not sure why people that do not even know her are saying that she came here illegally. They came over legally. They both have had up-to-date work permits and pending Visas. And just to update you all....happy to report their visas have been expedited! Don't spread lies and your bigotry based on your racist assumptions on people. Get the facts!

  • Jeffrey Derry May 8, 8:56 p.m.
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    Dave Vogel you hit the nail on the head ! well-stated. We are a country of laws not emotions.

  • Dave Vogel May 8, 8:38 p.m.
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    You should start at the beginning.... Entering a foreign country without proper identification is illegal... period. Over 95% of illegals come here by choice. A conscious decision to break the law, but hoping they don't get caught. Illegal aliens commit crimes in order to get jobs. Illegal aliens who use fraudulent documents perjure themselves on I-9 forms, and commit identity theft in order to get those jobs. While I applaud anyone who has a strong work ethic, I don't applaud people who break the law. Regardless of your political stance- wrong is wrong.

  • Jeffrey Derry May 8, 5:02 p.m.
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    #screenedfortuberculosis?#heretostay? #ithinknot #seeyalaterbye #outtahere

  • Henry Cooper May 8, 2:43 p.m.
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    I would really like someone here that can explain how people here illegally are paying the income tax? If they use someone else SSN then they have caused issues for that person. If they don't do immigration paperwork you cannot get a work visa so you have no way to account for your earnings or even have deductions withheld.

    It then causes a backlog of with holdings filed to the IRS by the employer. the withholding is sent via SSN that many times was wrong or just bogus. This adds another layer of cost and bloat to another govt agency.

  • Steve Allen May 8, 11:42 a.m.
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    1st there's more going on then what this story says. We are only getting one side and it happens to be from the one in the hot seat.

  • Steve Allen May 8, 11:17 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Agree 100%

  • Stephen Morgan May 8, 11:05 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    My point exactly!! Glad to see some other clear thinking people in this comment section.

  • Crystal Czeck May 8, 11:01 a.m.
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    Is there anywhere else in the world where you can just waltz right into the country without having to get a citizenship?? I've heard it's near impossible in Australia. In Canada you have to meet certain requirements before they will even consider it. Asian countries? Nope. So, why are we expected to let anyone and everyone in?

  • Stephen Morgan May 8, 10:30 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Trying is not following the law so yes they need to be deported. I hope it's sooner then later tbh