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

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Little 11-year-old Laura Maradiaga Alvarado has only been in Houston for a few months, but she is already thriving in middle school and dreams of growing up in America.

Her family worries, though, that she could be deported within weeks.

Thursday, the family, along with the immigration rights group FIEL, spoke out about the very real possibility the girl could be deported alone back to El Salvador.

"We find ourselves with an 11-year-old who could potentially get deported to El Salvador, by herself, through a great mistake we believe the immigration system created," said Cesar Espinoza, FIEL executive director..

Espinoza says the family had been showing up to immigration court, but the government shutdown canceled one of their appearances.

That confusion, along with a language barrier, caused little Laura to get lost in the system until the family received a deportation order Wednesday.

"On April 10th, we find out that little Laura, who is standing next to me, has a deportation order," Espinoza said.

FIEL found an attorney for Laura, hoping to reverse the decision.

"This mistake done by immigration court has put this family in jeopardy," Attorney Sylvia Mintz said. "They would be separated if it is not solved."

Mintz says she is filing an appeal and hopes the immigration courts will allow Laura to remain in America with her family.

"We ask immigration to reconsider this case and we ask immigration to look further and to prevent these type of cases and situations from happening," Espinoza said.

ABC13 has reached out to ICE for a comment about the case but has not heard back.

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