Judge prevents deportation of Providence woman pending ACLU lawsuit

Lilian Calderon, her husband and their children. (Submitted Photo)

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union in Boston and Providence filed a lawsuit Tuesday to secure the release of a Providence woman who is being detailed by immigration.

The suit has already received notice from a federal judge who ruled Tuesday morning that Calderon may not be deported while the suit is pending. It's a big win for the husband and children who are making do without Lilian Calderon for the past couple of weeks.

Calderon has been in Providence illegally since she was 3 years old, going to high school at Mt. Pleasant and raising two children, ages 4 and 1.

Calderon, 30, was arrested in an immigration office in Johnston, where she had gone voluntarily to try to verify her marriage to her American husband. That was Jan. 17, and since then she's been locked up in Boston, and her two children have been inconsolable.

Calderon's lawyer, Martin Harris, acknowledged that there is a deportation order of longstanding for Calderon, but he said there are less cruel measures than breaking up the family.

"There are clearly, clearly more humanitarian and fair and just ways to address this issue as opposed to having her languish in custody in detention while her children and her husband suffer. Some of the options they have, they could put her under an orders provision, like they have with myriad of aliens that are here that report right out of Warwick, Rhode Island, to check in under an order of supervision and they have perhaps motions pending or some type of relief they're trying to pursue," Harris said.

With the judge's action on the ACLU suit, there is less desperation in the situation, but the family and the attorneys are still working to get Calderon out of detention while her case is pursued.

John Mohan, a regional spokesman for ICE, confirmed that Calderon is in custody. He also sent in a statement.

"As a matter of policy, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not comment on pending litigation/judicial appeals," Mohan said.

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