San Francisco Teenager Gets Deportation Reprieve

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN/KCBS) – A San Francisco teen who was scheduled to be deported later this month received a six-month reprieve Thursday that will give her lawyers time to build a case for her to stay in the country legally.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Elizabeth Lee, 18, came to the U.S. from Peru with her mother Melissa and brother Felix, 16, in 2000.

She graduated from Lowell High School in San Francisco in June and was accepted to attend the University of California at Berkeley last fall, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials detained Melissa Lee in June. She was released, but officials said the family would be deported to Peru on Jan. 19.

A rally was held Thursday at Mission Dolores Church in support of Elizabeth Lee, and Thursday morning, organizers found out she has been given another six months in the country to prepare her immigration case.

Thursday was Epiphany, the last of the 12 days of Christmas in the Catholic faith. Also known as Three Kings Day, it commemorates the arrival of the three wise men in the nativity story.

Rally spokesman Eric Quezada called the reprieve an Epiphany gift.

“That made it special as well,” he said. “That was the theme of the day. We were hoping for a gift in honor of the Epiphany.”

Quezada said the reprieve was granted on humanitarian grounds and is likely related to the strength of Lee’s legal case.

“We believe she has a strong case to be able to remain in the country lawfully,” he said. “This will allow her to reopen the case so new evidence can be put forward.”

Quezada declined to discuss the legal strategy for keeping her in the U.S., but said Elizabeth and her family are talented and hard working.

“Instead of being able to attend college this past fall, Elizabeth has to face this,” he said.

She speaks very little Spanish, he added.

Shing Ma “Steve” Li, a San Francisco nursing student who recently faced similar deportation proceedings, was scheduled to attend Lee’s rally Thursday.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

  • joe dirt

    deport her! you let one stay you have to let them all. it will inact new laws and the case will be cited by anyone entering illegally.

    • TaxTheChurchesNow

      You are Dirt, joe dirt.

  • Tom

    I agree with Joe. They crowed our schools, take a space in our colleges that should go to a US citizen and increase your taxes.. They should be deported and not allowed back into the US for 10 years after they go through legal immigation.

  • peace

    Depor her and her entire illegal family. I am an sick of these leaches. If you want to become a citizen then please do it the legal way otherwise you have NOT rights.

  • fred thompson

    What parta of illegal do these people not understand?
    ohhh, that;’s right. “I’m SPECIAL”.
    Follow the rules.. like the rest of us do.

  • Don Juan Jose Miguel Gonzalez

    I don’t get it. These asians came from Peru? Where are the really from?? The article says she speak very little Spanish so they must have went there from Asia. Send them back to where they were born. Goverment needs to wake up and stop letting illegals run around this country and how in the world can they get a lawyer?? They are illegal and should be deported IMMEDIATELY just like all other illegals running around.

    • jon

      There is a large Asian population in Peru, and the former president was of Japanese decent, just FYI don Juan

  • V for Vendetta

    actually the Asian population of Peru which includes Chinese, Japanese and in recent years Korean only make up about 5% of the Peruvian population. They are fully integrated in the culture, only speak Spanish, dance salsa and are as warm as other Peruvians. These people have been there for over 100 years. It is obvious that these new Chinese quasi immigrants are using Peru as a way to reach the US.

  • RJonny

    Elizabeth is a promising honor student and a graduate of SF’s top high school. It is in the US’ national interest to have her as a contributing member of society. Kudos to her for bravely standing up for her dreams. I just hope that if I were in her shoes, I would be as calm and courageous.

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