back to top

13 Controversial U.S. Deportation Stories

Last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported over 350,000 people.

Posted on

1. Twenty-two-year-old Laura S. was deported "without the right of due process," according to court documents, after a traffic violation in Pharr, Texas.

Peter Johansky / Via Getty Images

Laura had fled to the U.S. to escape her abusive boyfriend. According to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, she was eligible for "relief from removal." However, reports state she never saw an immigration judge or had a chance to talk to a lawyer. Days after she arrived in Mexico, she was found dead in a burning car belonging to her ex-boyfriend.

2. On Dec. 9, 2008, Mark Lyttle, a mentally disabled American citizen, was ordered to be deported by an Atlanta immigration judge.


He was taken to jail in Mexico before being deported to Honduras and then Guatemala City, where he received help from the U.S. embassy.

3. According to Houston immigration lawyer Isaias Torres, Luis Alberto Delgado was carrying all his proper documentation when he was deported by immigration officials.


Torres claims that Luis Alberto Delgado had his U.S. birth certificate, Social Security card, and Texas ID at the time of deportation. Immigration officials believed the documents were "fraudulent" and deported him to Matamoros, Mexico. He remained there for three months before being allowed back into the U.S.

4. Blanca Maria Alfaro, a Salvadorian-American born in Houston, was granted citizenship three times after being mistakenly deported twice.


Immigration officials believed her passport to be fake and revoked it upon attempting to enter the U.S. She was also jailed for 15 days when she tried entering the U.S. through Mexico with her legal passport.


5. Dallas-born Jakadrien Turner, a 15-year-old runaway teenager, was deported to Colombia after providing a false name.


The false name belonged to a Colombian immigrant with an arrest warrant in her country. Because Jakadrien did not speak up about her real identity, and there was no information on the Colombian immigrant or Jakadrien herself in law enforcement databases, she was deported to Colombia.

7. U.S. Army veteran Hector Barajas, a U.S. permanent resident, was deported after pleading guilty to firing a gun into a vehicle.


After serving two years in prison, he was deported by ICE officials. He is permanently banned from the country. He founded "Banished Veterans," a group that helps out other veterans who have also been deported after serving in the U.S army.


10. Rachel Custudio, a Massachusetts native, relocated her life to Brazil after her husband Paolo was deported due to a clerical error.

Rachel Custudio / Via

A hearing notice for his immigration status was sent to an incorrect address.

12. According to Shahed Hossain, from Fort Worth, Texas, he was deported to Bangladesh after he "misspoke" at the Mexican border.

Color Lines / Via

Shahed recalled calling himself a "U.S. citizen instead of a permanent resident" when questioned by border patrolmen. He's been living in Bangladesh for the last three years.

13. Nelson Javier Avila-Lopez, a 20-year-old Honduran gay man seeking asylum in the U.S., was deported despite an immigration judge granting him a stay of deportation.


Once he arrived in Honduras, Nelson was imprisoned at the infamous Comayagua prison without any formal charges. His mother claims he was tortured while inside. Nelson died in a prison fire just before his 21st birthday.