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Ohio Mom Faces Deportation Over Traffic Ticket

Ohio Mom Faces Deportation Over Traffic TicketAn Ohio mother of three children, ages eight, three and one, is facing deportation after attempting to pay a traffic ticket.

Fleeing civil war, then-17-year-old Marinela Martinez-Magana came to the United States from El Salvador in 2004. When she tried to pay a traffic ticket in Columbus, ICE officials led her away in handcuffs, because she is undocumented.

Under the so-called "Morton Memo," Ms. Martinez-Magana may qualify for prosecutorial discretion and a 12-month suspension of deportation proceedings, since she is a nonviolent offender.

ICE has agreed to a two-month stay, and Ms. Martinez-Magana says she plans to file a formal application for stay.

Stories such as this one resonate with many Central Californians who are touched by immigration issues. Unfortunately Ms. Martinez-Magana, unless her application is filed and granted, she may be facing deportation proceedings again before Christmas.

California adopted a TRUST Act in 2014, which virtually eliminates stories like this one in Fresno and surrounding counties. If arrestees have an immigration hold, local sheriffs only turn them over to ICE if there is a serious or violent felony involved. The policy clearly states that the sheriff is to "err on the side of caution and release the inmate" if the basis for the hold is "questionable." Some counties, including Tulare County, have even stronger policies in this area.

But stories (stories on Kern County and Bakersfield Ice situations) in Kern County continue to give concern to undocumented drivers that their traffic ticket may cause them unnecessary legal problems.

If you have a traffic ticket and you're an undocumented or under-documented person, you don't have to fear having your day in court. Contact an attorney today to help you take care of your ticket.