Bring home unlawfully seized deported. The Irreplaceable Letty Stegall. #BringLettyHome

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Leticia Stegall, the woman affectionately known as "Letty" and described as "the face of the River Market." Letty is a mother, a wife, and loved as a sister to many. She may have been Mexican-born.   She loved our country despite the hardships it offered her at times. She gave so much to our community and was deeply rooted caring and tireless part of the City Market. She was much more the manager of the Blue Line hockey bar in the River Market.

Yet, our nation, her adopted country denied her due process when a Court order was ignored and she was abruptly deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Feb. 26. Her work visa was set to expire at the end of March, according to Stegall’s husband.

Stegall said Leticia left their home early Monday morning and an ICE agent arrested her on her way to the gym. He also said they drove her car back and parked it in the driveway, but he wasn’t informed she was arrested.

A neighbor called Stegall’s parents and told them what happened.

"My parents called me and asked if I had heard the news that Immigration had come and got Letty,” Stegall said.

He said the hardest part was telling his wife’s 16-year-old daughter.

"She came home telling me she got an A on her test, happy. I was like 'Oh god… Honey, that's great but I have some absolutely horrible news,'” Stegall said.

Leticia was held in the Platte County Jail for four days.

Stegall’s lawyer contacted a federal judge, who ordered on March 2 for Leticia to stay in the country at the Platte County Jail. She was deported the same day. 

It’s unknown at this time when Stegall was deported and when the order came down.

Leticia’s deportation was part of an operation targeting people here illegally with prior criminal histories. Perhaps the need for stats and figures to pound the drum of division that is now stifling the faint breeze of freedom once known.  Meanwhile, her daughter prepares for graduation while her mother is denied the ability to come home.

Stegall said he thought they would be allowed to carry out that legal process to try and keep Leticia here. Stegall has started the paperwork to file for a marriage visa. The process can take up to two years. He’s unsure if that would override the 10-year period that Leticia is not allowed to re-enter the country because she was forcefully detained.

The throngs of supporters on a Monday night show the community support for Letty and elected leaders should take note of the votes they will lose as this woman and this issue embodies the ideals that many of us will not sacrifice.

On Feb. 26, 2018, deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Leticia Tadeo-Guzman, a citizen of Mexico illegally residing in the U.S., during an operation targeting at-large criminal aliens.  Tadeo-Guzman has a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Overland Park, Kansas, in 2012.  She received a final order of removal from a federal immigration judge in 2016.

While she was in the process of being removed, the local ICE office received a faxed Writ of Habeas Corpus from the U.S. District Judge of the Western District of Missouri.  She had has been removed to Mexico and is no longer in ICE custody, this Writ is no longer applicable or so the authorities suggest.