Feathered Bastard

DPS Officer's Pursuit of DREAMer Lands Woman in Stir for Six Months (w/Update)

If you need an illustration of Arizona's diseased "attrition through enforcement" mentality, look no further than the case of Solaguahire Zenil, a local DREAMer, who is currently in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

See also: -The MCAO Follows ICE's Blueprint for Separating Immigrant Families

According to her immigration attorney Jose Penalosa, Zenil, 23, pleaded guilty this Monday to one misdemeanor count of possession of a forgery device. This, after spending six months in jail, nonbondable, because she was accused of felony forgery charges and presumed to be undocumented.

Normally, ICE would release someone like Zenil after taking custody of her. She's a DREAMer, who has been in the United States since she was five, and she's DACA-eligible, meaning she would benefit from President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Most importantly, her conviction is for a misdemeanor, not a felony.

Why she has not been released yet has so troubled her fellow DREAMers that they demonstrated today outside Phoenix's ICE office, demanding her freedom. She may have been taken to ICE's Eloy Detention Center, but so far, Penalosa has not been able to make contact with his client.

"If they take her to Eloy, then I'll have access to her," he told me, as protesters chanted, "Free Sol Now," nearby. "Once I have her case number, I can file a petition for a bond hearing."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons