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One mistake outweighs contributions in woman's deportation case

No one is perfect. However, many people are defined not by all the "right" things they do, but by the mistakes the make. This can certainly be the case for immigrants who live in Miami and elsewhere in the U.S. without proper documentation.

For instance, one woman was recently deported after she was arrested for a drunk driving offense. Her case is a grim reminder that immigration laws are rigid and unforgiving. Rather than learning from her mistake, this woman was defined by it in the eyes of the law and deported.

As news outlets have reported, the 33-year-old woman is a wife, mother and immigrants' rights activist. She entered the U.S. legally under the visa waiver program, and decided to stay past the approved 90 days when she met her soon-to-be husband. Despite her commitment to her family and community, and her otherwise spotless record, it was her one mistake to drive while intoxicated that led to her deportation.

In a statement by a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it was noted that, under current laws, immigrants who are not here lawfully and who are "convicted of serious misdemeanors like driving under the influence" are a top priority for deportation, as they pose a threat to public safety.

This means that, generally speaking, a person can be otherwise perfect in the eyes of the law and still be deported if he or she is undocumented and makes a mistake like drunk driving.

It is unknown if this law will change with the new Trump administration, but if his campaign promises are an accurate indication of his plans for immigration reform, the fear of deportation will only get worse for immigrants who are in this country without proper authorization.

If you are part of this group, it would be a good idea to understand your legal options to protect yourself, your family and your status in this country. Whether you fear deportation or are already facing it, talking to an immigration attorney as soon as possible could be critical.

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