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Organizational Support Letter

Domestic Violence Survivor and Mother of Three Detained Due To A Conviction 16 years ago!

Omara Gomez-Aviles (A#070-920-749) came to the United States when she was 17years old from El Salvador. Omara came to the United States fleeing the civil war and violence in her home country. At the age of 13 Omara was sold to an older man who sexually abused her and forced her to marry him. Omara with the desire to be free, at 17 years old decided to flee the abusive marriage and risk the journey to the United States to seek asylum and employment to send money back to her Grandmother. Since then Omara worked hard to  provide for her and her family in Los Angeles. Omara is the loving mother of three US citizen children.

On Sunday February 22nd, 2015 at 9:00am Omara was going to pick up her husband from work but was instead picked up by Immigration Customs Enforcement(ICE) who were waiting outside their home. She was taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles but was transferred to the Santa Ana City Jail. ICE officers told her that her green card application was denied and decided to place her in deportation proceedings. Omara was never notified of this decision by ICE. 

Omara does have a criminal record dating 16 years ago. She was convicted with with petty theft and 2 felony drug convictions due in part to her ex-husband who abused her and planted drugs in the car she was driving. Omara was pulled over by police and they found the illicit drugs and was arrested. Her public defender advised her to plead guilty without informing her of the potential consequences to her immigration case. Omara served 8 months in prison and has not committed any offense ever since while meeting the requirements of her probation. There is no reason why Omara should be placed in deportation proceedings for something she did 16 years ago, it undermines the criminal justice system the effort she has made to raise her family here in the United States.

Omar the oldest son is a leader in his community and is involved in several community based organizations such as United Students and Inner City Struggle which advocates for educational justice and a more equitable, safe and healthy education system. Omar is also an organizer  in the Brothers Son Selves a campaign by Liberty Hill Foundation to address the disparities facing men of color in Los Angeles. As part of Building Healthy Communities Boyle Heights Omar is a youth member of the initiative to make the community of Boyle Heights safer and healthier for its members.

Omar  will be graduating in June. Graduation is one of the most important events in a youth’s life and Omar should have his mother there with him not sitting in a immigration detention center. Omara started her own catering business selling tamales with her partner Geronimo who have been able to support and raise their children.  Without her working, Omar, his siblings  have had to work in order to meet ends meet and pay the rent. 

If deported to El Salvador Omara faces extremely unfavorable conditions for her and her family. Omara is a survivor of domestic violence and human trafficking, she needs to be granted asylum not deportation.


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