By Sarah Smith / AP via The Seattle Times
February 3, 2017
“Immigrants like Ms. Vargas just want a better life for themselves and their families and are true believers in the American dream — they should not be pushed further into the shadows.”
— Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi
Before she was arrested following an immigration protest, Daniela Vargas dreamed of earning her college degree in Mississippi, then becoming a math professor and soccer mom, driving three kids around in an SUV.
Now the 22-year-old friends describe as all-American girl may be deported without a hearing to Argentina, a country she hasn’t seen since she was 7, when her parents fled a collapsing economy and violated a visa waiver program to find work in the United States.
Her attorneys said they filed a motion Friday with the Department of Homeland Security to allow Vargas, now detained in Louisiana, to remain in the U.S. until they can make her case before a judge. Meanwhile, her friends canvassed the state Capitol building, leaving notes seeking help from lawmakers.
For now, Vargas is being processed as a “visa wavier overstay,” which could deny her a hearing and put her on a plane to South America.
“She said she was in a cell with other girls. She hasn’t even taken a shower yet because she’s scared to,” her friend Jordan Sanders said. “She has no clue what’s going on.”
“They rushed around the vehicle and opened Dany’s side of her door and they were just like, ‘You know who we are, you know who we’re here for,’” Sanders said. The agents drove off with her in handcuffs.