Deportation on hold for SF family 

After a public outcry, immigration officials are giving a 60-day reprieve to two members of a San Francisco family that they had threatened to deport to Australia by Friday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had ordered a 13-year-old and his mother to leave the country by Friday after the teenager allegedly punched another child and took 46 cents from him.

Both mother and son are Australian citizens and undocumented immigrants. The mother, Tracey, had married U.S. citizen and San Francisco resident Charles Washington last year, but they had not applied for a green card yet. Her 5-year-old son will be taken back as well by the May 4 deadline.

After the teenager was arrested by law enforcement and charged with a felony, The City turned him over to ICE officials, per the policy of Mayor Gavin Newsom — but contrary to the amended ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors.

However, after The Examiner published a story on the situation and the family held a news conference Monday further detailing their situation, ICE backed off the deportation threat.

“We have agreed to grant the family a 60-day extension to allow them to address some of the pending legal issues related to this case,” ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kise said. “We have the discretion to do so.”

The mother had been required by immigration officials to wear an ankle bracelet before her departure, and Kise said the woman is still “subject to monitoring.”

Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said the 60-day reprieve is “great news for the family.”

“We applaud the decision,” he said. “What this does is it actually shows that the process works the way it should.”

He said the case was an “exception” because “there isn’t this level of sympathetic feeling” about most immigration cases in which a child commits a felony.

That ICE officials were willing to show discretion in this case “validates our current policy,” he said.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

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Katie Worth

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Monday, Feb 19, 2018

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