How Dede Adnahom Didn't Get Deported

Last year, Giday Adnahom was fighting deportation. As reported earlier in Truthout, Adnahom, or Dede to those who know her, came to the United States as a child with her adult sister in 1993. Under the 1980 Refugee Act, the family was granted permanent residency. Three years later, Dede was removed form her sister's home because of abuse and placed in foster care. The agency severed all ties between Dede and her sister.

When she turned 18, Dede aged out of foster care. Unable to afford her own place, Dede was caught selling $20 of crack cocaine the following year. She took her case to trial and, in 2005, was found guilty of controlled substance delivery. She was sentenced to nine months in a work-release center, served six months, then began rebuilding her life.

In 2006, shortly after Dede gave birth to her first daughter, the U.S. Board of Immigration and Appeals began deportation proceedings against her. Although an immigration judge ruled in her favor the following year, the board appealed, and deportation proceedings reopened in 2012. Recently, after a grass-roots mobilization effort by her friends and supporters, an immigration judge ruled in Dede’s favor, granting her permanent residency.

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