Advocates protest immigration arrest of Virginia mother

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FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) -- Immigrant advocates are protesting the detention of a mother who was arrested and put into deportation proceedings after making a regularly scheduled check-in with immigration officials.

According to the advocacy group CASA, 30-year-old Liliana Cruz Mendez of Falls Church was arrested Thursday after going with her lawyer to a check-in appointment at Immigration and Customs Enforcement regional headquarters in Fairfax.

CASA spokeswoman Fernanda Durand said Cruz Mendez has no criminal record and came to the U.S. from El Salvador a decade ago. She came to officials' attention in 2013 after being stopped for a broken taillight.

CASA says her case is emblematic of the harsh stance immigration authorities are taking under the Trump administration.

ICE spokeswoman Carissa Cutrell says Cruz Mendez received two deferrals from deportation in 2014 and 2015.

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) released a statement on the arrest:

“I have contacted DHS and ICE to protest this action. Liliana is a mother of two American children and poses no public safety or national security threat. I won't stand by silently while this Administration seeks to break up Northern Virginia families.”
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