PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Three weeks after Lilian Calderon, a Guatemalan mother, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement her family is holding out hope that a newly filed federal lawsuit will get her released.
Tuesday, a judge responded to the habeas corpus petition saying that Calderon cannot be removed from Massachusetts while the case is pending.
"It's been a very difficult time,” said
Calderon's husband Luis Gordillo fought back tears while addressing the media Tuesday morning.
"I just want my wife, my best friend, to be released and to be reunited with the family,” said Gordillo. “I know we miss her, I know the kids miss her and I know she misses us too."
Calderon, a Rhode Islander and mother of two, came to the U.S. at the age of three. She was taken into custody January 17th following an interview applying for lawful status.
"There is no justification for Lilian's detention and we are asking a federal court to order her released immediately,” said Adriana LaFaille an attorney for the ACLU of Massachusetts. “Lilian's detention is arbitrary, it's unlawful and it's completely inhumane."
ICE has had a final order of removal against Calderon since 2002, but she wasn't detained until she and her husband went to homeland security office last month.
An attorney for the family saying she has long tried to go about gaining legal status through the proper channels.
An advocate for the Latino community emphasizing that this case represents a much bigger issue.
"Our immigration system is broken and it's victims are Rhode Island families like Luis and Lilian,” said Gabriela Domenzain the Director of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger William University.
ABC 6 News reached out to ICE for comment but was told that as a matter of policy the department does not comment on pending litigation.