McAuliffe pardons Fairfax Co. mother detained by immigration officials

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has pardoned a years-old minor driving offense committed by an immigrant mother of two, saying he hopes the move will help prevent her being deported by President Donald Trump’s administration.

McAuliffe said Wednesday he’s pardoned 30-year-old Liliana Cruz Mendez of Falls Church, whose case immigration advocates have said is emblematic of the harsh stance immigration authorities are taking under Trump.

The advocacy group CASA said Cruz Mendez came to the U.S. from El Salvador a decade ago and came to officials’ attention in 2013 after being stopped for a broken taillight. She was arrested earlier this month after going with her lawyer to a check-in appointment at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, though she’d previously received two deferrals from deportation in 2014 and 2015.

Dana Sukontarak

Dana Sukontarak is a Digital Writer/Editor for She loves haiku poetry, short sci-fi stories and word games. She grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and currently lives in Silver Spring.

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