Durham County

Riverside High grad Wendy Fernandez says deportation to El Salvador is imminent

Wendy Miranda Fernandez, front, is shown in a submitted photo.
Wendy Miranda Fernandez, front, is shown in a submitted photo. Submitted photo

Alerta Migratoria NC, an activist group that has been associated with a Durham’s Wendy Miranda Fernandez, a Durham high school graduate who has been fighting deportation to her native El Salvador, reported shortly before midnight Wednesday that Fernandez would be deported at 1 a.m. Thursday, May 18.

Alerta Migratoria NC said in an emailed statement at 11:39 p.m. Wednesday, May 17 that Fernandez had told them she was scheduled for deportation to El Salvador in less than two hours.

Fernandez has a pending Motion to Reopen and an asylum application that had stopped an earlier deportation order, but said Immigration and Customs Enforcement would deport her at 1 a.m.

She has been in ICE custody in Georgia and now Louisiana in recent months awaiting deportation.

Fernandez entered the U.S. at age 14 and sought asylum, claiming she feared for her safety in El Salvador after witnessing a murder outside her home by the international gang Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13. She said the attack occurred after her older brother refused to join the gang.

Her brother was not injured in the ensuing shooting.

Her asylum request was turned down.

She has also said that she is planning to marry an American citizen, which would apparently void her deportation but that wedding has not happened.

Alerta Migratoria NC said in its statement Wednesday: “ICE continues to create excuse after excuse in their efforts to prevent Robert Paulino from marrying the love of his life. Despite receiving written authorization from Field Office Director Sean Gallagher, Wendy’s fiance has faced roadblock after roadblock in his attempt to marry Wendy. Robert is, currently, in Louisiana and devastated at permanently losing his sweetheart.”

While awaiting a hearing on her asylum request, Fernandez graduated from Riverside High School.

Alerta Migratoria NC claims Fernandez, if deported, “.... faces certain death in El Salvador.”