A 5-year-old Guatemalan boy who was at risk of being deported without his mother will be allowed to stay in the U.S. while he awaits his court appearance for an asylum case.
Early in April, a judge had issued an order of deportation against Wanner Martinez for missing a court date neither his mother nor attorney was aware of. Lilian Martinez, 25, a native of Guatemala, and her son Wanner were separated under the Trump administration's now-defunctand reunited after spending two months apart in June 2018. Their asylum cases, however, were not linked together upon reunification, prompting the immigration court system to issue them separate court dates.
On Friday, afterthe family could be separated by the U.S. government for a second time, a judge granted an appeal filed by their attorney to reopen proceedings, halting Wanner's deportation and merging his case with that of his mother. According to court documents reviewed by CBS News, both Martinez and her son have to appear before Houston's immigration court on August 5.
Mana Yegani, who has been representing the Guatemalan family on a pro bono basis since they reunited last year, said the judge's decision to grant the appeal is the fastest she has ever witnessed in her career.
On Thursday, before learning about the judge's decision to halt her son's deportation, Martinez, who now resides in Houston, told CBS News she was scared about the possibility of her son returning to Guatemala, where she said she received death threats.
"I was forced to leave my country. Going back to Guatemala is not an option," she told CBS News during an interview in Spanish.