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Stamford Mom Of Ill Child Faces Deadline For Deportation To Guatemala

Miriam Martinez-Lemus, a Stamford resident who is facing deportation to Guatemala, with her husband, Raphael Benavides, and their daughters.
Miriam Martinez-Lemus, a Stamford resident who is facing deportation to Guatemala, with her husband, Raphael Benavides, and their daughters. Photo Credit: Facebook

STAMFORD, Conn. — A Stamford woman with two daughters — one of whom needs constant care for her diabetes — is staring at a deadline of Monday to be deported to her native Guatemala.

Miriam Martinez-Lemus, 52, came to the U.S. in 1992, fleeing political unrest and civil war in her home country, according to a Facebook post from her supporters.

She unsuccessfully filed for asylum, and her latest request for a stay to remain in the U.S. was denied by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Martinez-Lemus is scheduled to leave her family and get on a plane at 3 p.m. Monday to return to Guatemala.

But her supporters and her new lawyer, Glenn Formica, are trying to stop that from happening. Formica plans to go to ICE offices in Hartford on Monday morning to request a delay in the deportation while he works on her case, according to the Stamford Advocate. Her supporters said she is willing to accept incarceration to avoid deportation.

Martinez-Lemus is the main caregiver for her two children. Her 12-year-old, who is a U.S. citizen, has Juvenile Type 1 diabetes. The care she needs from injections and an insulin pump would not be available to her in Guatemala, her supporters said.

She has been trained to administer the medications for her daughter and "comforts her in the moments after when the pain permeates her body," according to a post on the Facebook page. "This particular type of diabetes requires hourly monitoring – particularly while she sleeps."

The 12-year-old girl and her 10-year-old sister are both honors students in the Stamford Public Schools.

Luis Raphael Benavides, the husband of Martinez-Lemus and a native of Peru, would remain in Stamford with his daughters. He works in New York City, according to the Stamford Advocate and WTNH, and is also seeking to gain citizenship.

Her supporters have started a MoveOn.org petition calling for the deportation to be stopped.

After years of complicated proceedings, Martinez received a stay of deportation last year, but when she reported to ICE in August for a renewal, the stay was denied and she was ordered deported, according to her supporters and the Advocate.

Click here for the story at WTNH-TV. Click here for the story at the Stamford Advocate.

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