Deportation order against 11-year-old girl set aside

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An 11-year-old who was ordered to be deported alone back to El Salvador will get to stay in the U.S. for now.

A judge set aside the deportation order against Laura Maradiaga Alvarado on Tuesday, allowing attorneys the chance to work on her family's asylum claim.

RELATED: 11-year-old faces deportation alone back to El Salvador

"We are elated that the court has taken this case into consideration and taken swift action to fix this grave error they made," said FIEL executive director Cesar Espinosa. "We hope that at the end of the day we will have the resolution the family deserves and the Maradiaga Alvarado family remain together and safe."

While this is just a small victory and a first step in a very long process, the family's immigration attorney, Silvia Mintz, said she is looking forward to seeing Laura get her day in court.

The Fondren Middle School student crossed into the U.S. through the McAllen Port of Entry in October with her mother and 15-year-old sister.

Together, her family is going through removal hearings, but Laura's case was lost during the government shutdown.

SEE ALSO: Girl, 11, appeals to legal system over deportation error

Her attorney says due to a clerical error, a judge signed off on a deportation order under the premise that she missed a court appearance.

"It's not the fault of the judges or the clerks. It's actually because this immigration system is broken and the clerks and judges are overworked," Mintz said.

Laura's family said they fled El Salvador after the violence became life-threatening. Laura's father and other family members lost their lives to the violence.

When gangs started recruiting Laura's classmates, her mother decided it was time to leave.

FIEL Houston has set up a GoFundMe account to help the family as they transition to a new life in Texas.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.