A Salvadoran woman won a restraining order against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Baltimore Sun reports.
In Maryland, U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake issued the restraining order last month, which temporarily forbids ICE and the Department of Homeland Security from removing Roxana Orellana Santos from the United States.
The mother of four was detained on Jan. 8 during a routine check-in with ICE in Baltimore, less than a week before she was expected in court for mediation in a civil rights case.
In 2008, two deputies arrested the woman while she was sitting on the curb outside a restaurant she worked at. Orellana Santos filed a suit against the county, citing that the stop and arrest violated profiling laws, and won. According to court documents, she sought $1 million and unspecified policy changes in damages.
For attorney Jose Perez, of the civil rights group Latino Justice, more important than the money was “[standing] up so others like her would not be subjected to biased policing.”
However, in ICE custody, she was unable to attend the court-ordered hearing to negotiate damages or reverse her deportation order.
“I think it is clear that they are trying to silence her because she has come forward as a civil rights champion,” Santos’s attorney, Nicholas Katz, of the immigrant advocacy group CASA, told the Washington Post. “It’s essential she is able to fully participate in that civil rights action.”
Her attorneys have petitioned to have her released.
In the meantime, Blake has halted the woman’s deportation by ordering Department of Homeland Security not to remove her from Maryland or the United States until Feb. 28 or further notice.