Chicago-Area Student Freed From Immigrant Detention Center

Feb 14, 2020
3:21 PM

Meydi Guzmán, right, a Crystal Lake Central High School senior who was in U.S. Immigration and Customs custody for several months, embraces friends as she is welcomed back at the home of school counselor Sara Huser on Thursday, February 13, 2020, in Crystal Lake, Ill. (John Starks/Daily Herald via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago high school student was released from a southern Illinois immigrant detention center with supporters planning to continue a fight against her deportation to Honduras.

Meydi Guzmán, 18, was granted bond Wednesday from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. Sara Huser, Guzmán’s Crystal Lake High School counselor, posted the $2,000 bond and has offered to take in Guzmán while she is free. Guzmán’s release Thursday means returning to school and possibly staying on track for graduation.

“I am really happy and thankful for all the people who helped me,” she said.

Guzmán’s attorneys said she and her father fled Honduras in 2018 after a group of gang members sexually assaulted her. Guzmán granted attorneys Kevin Bruning and Nathan Reyes permission to share her story.

Guzmán and her father, Fabio Guzman-Reyes, were stopped by border patrol agents after wading across the Rio Grande River and released on their promise to attend court hearings. The pair missed a February 28, 2019 hearing in Chicago, due to a possible mix-up in scheduling paperwork, according to Reyes and Bruning. Their case was continued to October 16, when they returned to court and were arrested.

Reyes and Bruning have filed a petition for asylum on Guzmán’s behalf and asked that a judge dismiss the order for Guzmán’s deportation.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the father is being held at an ICE facility in Kankakee.