Alejandra's Wish: Stop the Deportation of Blanca Medina
  • Petitioned Timothy Aitken

This petition was delivered to:

ICE San Francisco FIeld Office Director
Timothy Aitken
Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
John Morton
Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Sen. Barbara Boxer

Alejandra's Wish: Stop the Deportation of Blanca Medina

    1. Matthew Muller
    2. Petition by

      Matthew Muller

      San Francisco, CA

June 2012


Matt Muller, an immigration attorney, started a petition to stop the deportation of sexual abuse survivor Blanca Medina because he’d run out of legal options—a procedural rule that bars anyone from applying for asylum 180 days after a missed court hearing left him with no ability to fight for Blanca to stay in the U.S. in the courts. So he turned to over 118,000 of you who signed his petition and made calls to Immigration and Customs Enforcement days before Blanca’s deportation deadline. And it worked—Blanca was granted a last-minute stay and her case will be reopened. “This would never have happened without the petition,” Matt says.

More from Matt:

We are thrilled to announce that Blanca’s deportation has been stayed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They have agreed to seek reopening of her case and to transfer it to an immigration judge in San Francisco. Blanca will have her day in court, and a true chance at protection in the United States.

For lack of legal options, Blanca did what no sexual violence survivor should have to do: she went public with her story. It was a difficult choice for Blanca, but with your help and support she was able to overcome tremendous odds. Blanca thanks you deeply for helping her overcome this ordeal. She is hopeful she and her daughter can find peace and security now, and wishes you and your families the same.


Could you imagine suffering torture five different times, only to be told that no protection from your torturers was allowed because you missed a deadline to apply?  And what if you missed the deadline because you were still recovering from the last attack?

Blanca Medina doesn't have to imagine what that would be like.  She sought safety in the United States after suffering five rapes.  Because of medical complications relating to those rapes, Blanca missed a hearing to apply for protection and was ordered deported.  An Immigration and Customs Enforcement team tracked Blanca down and detained her, separating her from her four-year-old daughter Alejandra.

Blanca told ICE that she and Alejandra faced severe harm if deported.  She asked for permission to at least explain how she and her daughter could be persecuted.  ICE used a strange procedural rule to assert that it simply did not have to listen.  Under ICE rules, it is free to ignore even conclusive proof that a person would suffer slow death by torture if deported.  This "willful blindness" policy could be ended through simple procedural changes by the Department of Homeland Security.

Until the procedure is fixed, Blanca (and thousands of moms like her) face deportation with no hope of finding protection from persecution or torture.  Join us in asking the U.S. government to end this policy of willful blindness to torture and persecution, and allow reasonable fear interviews for all who face deportation.

Thank you,

Alejandra's Team

Recent signatures


    1. Hayward woman's deportation delayed at last minute

      Gabriela Garcia
      Petition Organizer

      A Hayward woman who says she was raped in El Salvador persuaded federal officials Thursday to halt her deportation to the Central American country after a public outcry...

    2. San Francisco Immigrant Community to Protest Deportation of Rape Victim

      Gabriela Garcia
      Petition Organizer

      We've all missed a deadline, but how many of those missed appointments meant the difference between a life of refuge and a life of fear? That's what it has meant to Blanca Medina, an El Salvadorian woman currently classified as a fugitive after she missed her immigration court hearing...

    3. Reached 100,000 signatures
    4. Alejandra's mother has been released! But she still faces deportation.

      Matthew Muller
      Petition Organizer

      Following the attention this petition brought to her case, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released Alejandra's mother Blanca. Alejandra and Blanca are so grateful for your help and support!
      But the victory is provisional. Blanca still faces imminent deportation, is tracked by a GPS ankle cuff and is monitored by ICE agents. Without further legal action, Blanca can still be deported to face violence. ICE is taking advantage of an odd procedural twist that allows it to deport Blanca (and thousands of moms like her) even if she faces persecution or torture in her country of origin. Under current law, an immigrant in Blanca's situation could have a signed, certified letter from her country's government promising that it would detain and slowly torture her to death upon her return. Yet ICE could still deport her by claiming that procedural rules don't allow it look at her letter.
      Help us change this policy of willful blindness into one of common-sense compassion.

    5. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Tokunbo A. S.F., CA
      • 9 months ago
    • James McBride ROCKLIN, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      I am signing this because I was close to a rape survivor and I know personally how devastating this can be to a woman and those close to her. I can't imagine ...well I can imagine but I wish it didn't happen in this country that the government was that unfeeling towards women who were in this situation but rather tried to give them assistance.

    • John Lopez ORINDA, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      To be a voice for the voiceless....

    • Dora Hetrick LANSING, MI
      • over 2 years ago

      She doesn't deserve brutality.

    • Rebecca Gonzalez SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm signing this petition because Blanca has be traumatized in El Salvador, and being forced to go back against her will is only going to make matters worst. Plus she has a young child here and right now every child needs a parent. I've been to El Salvador only once and know, from my family who lives in El Salvador, about the gangs and violence that happens there. If she goes, she has an higher risk of being raped and (heaven forbid) killed.


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