A woman who was named the '2013 Chicagoan of the Year' was granted asylum after facing an immigration hearing Wednesday afternoon—though ICE is still able to appeal the decision.
Lulú Martínez was to appear at the Chicago Immigration Court for a hearing that would determine whether or not she would get deported to Mexico, allegedly “for her role in the nationally-known campaign to bring deported individuals and their families together,” stated the news release.
Although the judge granted Martínez political asylum Wednesday, the case is ongoing and ICE will have the right to appeal the decision on May 1.
Martínez arrived to the U.S. at the age of 3 and was raised in Chicago's Northwest Side neighborhood of Portage Park, according to a news release.
As a national immigrant rights organizer, Martínez joined the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, which organized a "Bring Them Home" campaign to reunite families separated by deportations under the Obama administration.
"Organizing with my community against the institutions and systems that harm us has shown me the power in pushing the limits and taking risks to defend our rights,” she said. “I will face an immigration judge who will decide if I should be deported for standing up for my community; I hope that I will not be punished for organizing to keep families together."
Martínez and eight other undocumented students—known as the Dream 9 –protected by the Dream Act, were detained at the US-Mexico border and placed in deportation proceedings for “hand(ing) out information about a legal helpline to other detainees,” according to Chicago Magazine.
The Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Shawn Neudauer said she "was encountered by immigration authorities along the southwest border on July 22, 2013" and after being placed in removal proceedings, she was released from custody on August 7, 2013.
As a result of her involvement in the Dream 9, Martínez was named "Chicagoan of the Year" by Chicago Magazine in 2013.