PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for nearly a month in January 2018, and later becoming the face of a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU, Lilian Calderon’s visa has been approved by the U.S. Consulate in Guatemala, where she was born.
Two weeks ago, Calderon and her husband Luis Gordillo – an American citizen – traveled to her country of origin, where she underwent a myriad of tests prior to presenting her case for citizenship at the United States embassy.
Once Calderon receives her passport in Guatemala, she and her husband will fly back to the United States. For Calderon, that will be the first time she will be considered a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. This guarantees her the right to work and drive — two things she hasn’t been able to do since she was detained last year.
In January 2018, Calderon was detained by ICE after a marriage interview at an immigration office in Johnston. She was held in ICE custody for almost a month in a facility outside Boston.
She is also the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), challenging the Trump Administration’s pattern of separating married couples who are pursuing immigration status.
Several other New England couples are also involved in the lawsuit, which argues that non-citizen immigrants, who are going through the citizenship process, should be granted temporary relief to remain in the United States.
Once Calderon returns to the United States, she will continue her path to citizenship.